In 1849, a group of proto-socialists calling themselves the “Icarians” moved into an abandoned Mormon settlement in Nauvoo, Illinois. Their intent was to create a utopian society based on collectivism and equality.
Like the modern left, they were enthralled with a charismatic leader, Etienne Cabet. Like the modern left, they were appalled by the “inequality” created by capitalism, and convinced that a collective social order would create equality.
Like the modern left, they were incapable of building anything on their own, but co-opted what had been built by an earlier, more industrious society. The Mormons, who had been driven out of Nauvoo a few years earlier, had left behind homes,shops and workplaces that were occupied by the Icarians.
Every Icarian was allotted two rooms and identical furniture. In a move that would have gladdened MSNBC, children were separated from their parents and raised in collective-run schools. Religion was replaced with Sunday lectures on Icarian philosophy.
Within a few years, the socialist experiment failed, as their utopia collapsed due to “economic setbacks, policy disagreements and personal rivalries
Socialism has never, ever delivered on its promises; never, ever succeeded anywhere. And yet it will always be with us so long as there are people gullible enough to believe in its pipe dreams of equality and social justice and cynical autocrats willing to exploit those gullible idiots.