Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

What is the philosophy of Robert Owen?


Please stop telling me to look up the answers online. You will be reported for not trying to answer my question.

2 Answers

  • 7 years ago
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    Robert Owen fathered the cooperative movement. A Welshman who made his fortune in the cotton trade, Owen believed in putting his workers in a good environment with access to education for themselves and their children. He had the idea of forming "villages of co-operation" where workers would drag themselves out of poverty by growing their own food, making their own clothes and ultimately becoming self-governing. He tried to form such communities in Orbiston in Scotland and in New Harmony, Indiana in the United States of America, but both communities failed.

    Although Owen inspired the co-operative movement others, such as Dr. William King (1786-1865), took his ideas and made them more workable and practical. King believed in starting small, and realised that the working classes would need to set up co-operatives for themselves, so he saw his role as one of instruction. He founded a monthly periodical called The Cooperator, the first edition of which appeared on May 1, 1828. This gave a mixture of co-operative philosophy and practical advice about running a shop using co-operative principles. King advised people not to cut themselves off from society but rather to form a society within a society, and to start with a shop because "We must go to a shop every day to buy food and necessaries - why then should we not go to our own shop?". He proposed sensible rules, such as having a weekly account audit, having 3 trustees, and not having meetings in pubs (to avoid the temptation of drinking profits). A few poor weavers joined together to form the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society at the end of 1843. The Rochdale Pioneers, as they became known, set out the Rochdale Principles in 1844, which form the basis of the cooperative movement today.

  • 7 years ago

    Robert Owen was outside the mainstream of other owners of mines and factories during the English Industrial Revolution.

    He felt a healthy and happier workforce would be more productive. He built model town sites for workers with sanitary housing. He is often regarded as the 'father' of socialism.

    One of his critics, Karl Marx would call him a utopian socialist.

    More in such volumes as:

    Source(s): Hobsbawm, E. J. - Industry and Empire. London: Penguin: 1972
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