Re: [OPE-L] robert owen

From: Dogan Goecmen (Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM)
Date: Tue Oct 31 2006 - 03:44:37 EST

Thank you very much for pointing that out to me. But may I ask for some  more 
detail on the rerefence? Thank you.
In einer eMail vom 31.10.2006 09:37:38 Westeuropäische Normalzeit schreibt  

Visiting  New Lanark was a great inspiration to me in the late
1980s, encouraging me  to work with Allin on our book Towards a New Socialism,
which contains  strong owenite themes.

Quoting Dogan Goecmen  <Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM>:

> Robert Owen (1771 – 1858)  was a contemporary of  G.W.F. Hegel. He saw 
> Marx  launching the Communist Manifesto in 1848 in London. Owen’s name is
>  well
> known among  academics, but he is hardly researched. His  work is subject to
> discussions  merely in socialist circles.  However, further research would
> show how
> relevant  his  work is. He is rich in ideas about how to solve modern social
> problems  and  how to overcome environmental crises by reorganising  
> and  consumption.
> Owen was a  self-taught and self-made man. He  received only a primary
>  education in Newtown  (County Powys) in Wales and an apprenticeship  in
> London. But he
> developed a good grasp of  the  sophisticated questions of social, moral and
> political philosophy,  and  political economy. He was influenced mainly by
> 18th
>  century French  philosophers, particularly by P.H.T. d’Holbach. But  the
> primary source of his  knowledge was the conditions of the  working class in
> Britain.
> Therefore, all his  intellectual  and political activities, theoretical and
> practical  knowledge were devoted to  improving the conditions of the  
> class.
> Owen wanted to change the world and  open up a  new epoch in the history of
> humanity. His main thesis  was that throughout  history humanity had been
> acted
> upon  by circumstance. But it was time now that  human beings acted upon  
> circumstances. All his experiments and works   contain in their titles the
> expression ‘new’. His experiment in  New Lanark in Scotland 
> though in
> many  senses  revolutionary, was still an experiment to show how the profit 
> the owners of  the means of production could be  improved by improving the
> conditions of the  working class. The  only experiment which might be
> classified as
> socialist was New  Harmony between 1825 and 1829 in Indiana in the USA. In 
>  his experiments he paid  particular attention to the education of  children
> and in his educational  experiments he combined theory  and practice. After
> the
> failure of his experiment  in  Indiana he was involved in publishing
> periodicals. He introduced the  term ‘socialist’ in social and 
> philosophy.
> Since  Friedrich Engels’ distinction between utopian and  scientific
>  socialism, Owen is seen as a utopian socialist. But he was not a  utopian  
> the sense
> that he was naïve and hoping to change the world  by  experimenting with
> small-scale socialist settlements. With  his experiments he  wanted to
> stimulate the
> imagination,  to show practically that production can be  organised on the
>  principle of meeting peoples’ needs and that a new society can   be
> established
> throughout the world on the principle of  internationalism. He was  aware of
> the
> fact that this  would require huge effort. If he was a utopian,  then, it 
>  in
> the sense that he thought that this effort could be made by   capitalists, 
> were interested merely in improving their  profit, and by  statesmen who 
> interested primarily  in enlarging their powers and empires.  But having
> seized
>  power, even Lenin suggested that one must return now to Owen  to learn  
how to
> build a socialist society or in Owen’s words a New  Moral  World.
> Dogan  Gocmen

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