19th Century Socialists

Total word limit: 700 The 19th century utopian socialist Robert Owen challenged many contemporary assumptions about the intrinsic shortcomings of the working class and proposed instead a new set of principles that he believed could pave the way to a more equitable form of industrial society. Read carefully his 1816 “Utopian Socialism” in which he identified, first, the old set of principles industrial society must discard, and, second, a new set of principles it must embrace in order to eliminate “vice, poverty, and, in a great degree, misery from the world.”  Summation of his argument (“6th principle”): “That any community may be arranged, on a due combination of the foregoing principles, in such a manner, as not only to withdraw vice, poverty, and in a great degree, misery, from the world, but also to place every individual under circumstances in which he shall enjoy more permanent happiness than can be given to any individual under the principles which have hitherto regulated society.” Critique Owen’s vision of a more egalitarian industrial society from the point of view of 3 other economic thinkers you have encountered in this course.  In each case, discuss in as specific terms as possible how each would assess Owen’s assumptions and ideals. Remember, “to critique” does not necessarily mean “to criticize” Instead, it entails an analytical assessment of the merits and flaws of a particular viewpoint Responses will be assessed based on how faithfully and accurately you can represent the unique perspectives of each of the following using only the course assigned readings and course lectures. You should not base your responses on your own personal critique of Owen. Adam Smith’s critique of what Owen is saying in this 1816 address (200-250) John Stuart Mill’s critique of the same (150-200) Karl Marx’s critique (200-250)

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