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Talk:Robert Owen


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  • All the world old is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer.
  • By my own experience and reflection I had ascertained that human nature is radically good, and is capable of being trained, educated and placed from birth in such manner, that all ultimately (that is as soon as the gross errors and corruptions of the present false and wicked system are overcome and destroyed) must become united, good, wise, wealthy and happy. And I felt that to attain this glorious result, the sacrifices of the character, fortune and life of an individual was not deserving a moment's consideration. And my decision was made to overcome all opposition and to succeed or die in the attempt.
  • Children at this time were admitted into cotton, wool, flax and silk mills, at six and sometimes even five years of age. The time of working, winter and summer were unlimited by law, but usually it was fourteen hours per day — in some fifteen, and even, by the most inhuman and avaricious, sixteen hours.
  • Courts of law, and all the paraphernalia and folly of law cannot be found in a rational state of society.
  • Finding that no religion is based on facts and cannot be true, I began to reflect what must be the condition of mankind trained from infancy to believe in error.
  • I had done all I could to enlighten the evils of those whom I employed; yet with all I could do under our most irrational system for creating wealth, forming character, and conducting all human affairs, I could only to a limited extent alleviate the wretchedness of their conditions, while I knew society possessed the ample means to educate, employ, place and govern the population.
  • I had not the slightest knowledge of this new machinery. I looked wisely at the men, although I really knew nothing. But by intensely observing everything, I maintained order and regularity throughout the establishment.
    • On his management of his cotton mills.
  • I left this country in 1824 to go to the United States to sow the seeds in that new fertile soil — new for material and mental growth — the cradle of the future liberty of the human race.
  • I was obliged to commence with a combination of vicious and inferior conditions — but conditions to which the population had long been accustomed, and to many of which they were strongly attached. I had to meet the objections of my partners, who were all good commercial men, and looked to a good return on their capital.
  • I was the best runner and leaper in the school. I had the libraries of the clergyman, physician and lawyer thrown open to me .... I generally finished a volume daily .... I read all the lives I could meet with of the philosophers and great men.
  • I will lay my bones whence I derived them.
  • My intention was not merely to be a manager of cotton mills, but to change the conditions of the people who were surrounded by circumstances having an injurious influence upon the character of the entire population .... The community was a very wretched society and vice and immorality prevailed to a monstrous extent.
  • National arrangements shall be formed to include all the working classes in the great organisation.
  • Never argue; repeat your assertion.
  • Our opinions are made for us, not by us.
  • The houses of the poor working classes generally are altogether unfit for the training of young children; the children are therefore spoken to and treated just the reverse of the manner required to well-train and well-educate children.
  • There is an eternal, uncaused Existence, omnipresent and possessing attributes whereby the world is governed, but no man has yet been able to comprehend God.
  • Without consistency there is no moral strength.
  • You may depend upon it that they are as good hearts to serve men in palaces as in cottages.
  • Nor yet are they to be submitted to the mere men of the law; for these are necessarily trained to endeavor to make wrong appear right, or to involve both in a maze of intricacies, and to legalized injustice.
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