The Basis of Utopian Socialism
Robert Owen
Chapter 27

No one, it may be supposed, can now be so defective in knowledge as to imagine that it is a different human nature, which by its own power forms itself into a child of ignorance, of poverty, and of habits leading to crime and to punishment; or into a votary of fashion, claiming distinction from its folly and inconsistency; or to fancy that it is some undefined, blind, unconscious process of human nature itself, distinct from instruction, that forms the sentiments and habits of the men of commerce, of agriculture, the law, the church, the army, the navy, or of the private and illegal depredator on society. . . . No! human nature, save the minute differences which are ever found in all the compounds of the creation, is one and the same in all; it is without exception universally plastic, and, by judicious training, THE INFANTS OF ANY ONE CLASS IN THE WORLD MAY BE READILY FORMED INTO MEN OF ANY OTHER CLASS; EVEN TO BELIEVE AND DECLARE THAT CONDUCT TO BE RIGHT AND VIRTUOUS, AND TO DIE IN ITS DEFENCE, WHICH THEIR PARENTS HAD BEEN TAUGHT T0 BELIEVE AND SAY WAS WRONG AND VICIOUS, AND T0 OPPOSE WHICH, THOSE PARENTS WOULD ALSO HAVE WILLINGLY SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES.

From Robert Owen, A New View of Society.


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