without brains that he dares to use on his own acount; and consequently never realizes the great objects for which society is professedly formed.
Some portion, at least, of those who have attended the public meetings, know that EQUITABLE COMMERCE is founded on a principle exactly opposite to combination; this principle may be called that of Individuality. It leaves every one in undisturbed possession of his or her natural and proper sovereignty over its own person, time, property and responsibilities; & no one is acquired or expected to surrender any "portion" of his natural liberty by joining any society whatever; nor to become in any way responsible for the acts or sentiments of any one but himself; nor is there any arrangement by which even the whole body can exercise any government over the person, time, property or responsibility of a single individual.
Combinations and all the institutions built upon them are the inventions of Man; and consequently, partake of more or less of man's shortsightedness and other imperfections; while EQUITABLE COMMERCE is a simple development of principles, which, although new to the public, are as old as the creation, and will be as durable.
This understanding is very natural; because, all attempts at radical reformation known to have been founded on combination; the failure of these
has destroyed confidence, and the public, not being aware of any other principle, conclude that this is another proposal of the same kind and must fail like the rest. I respect their judgment and believe with them, that every attempt to improve their social condition by the formation of societies or any artificial combination (however ingeniously devised, however purely intended or honestly conducted,) must and will defeat their own objects and disappoint all who are engaged in them.
The failure of the experiments on the community system in New Harmony during the two years trial from 1825 to 1827, sufficiently proved this to my mind & led to the conviction that the process of combination is not capable of working out the great objects of society; but, the opposite principle, that of Individuality and the process of DISCONNNECTION,1 after much close and severe investi-
1The great principle of human elevation was perceived to be the SOVEREIGNTY OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL over his or her Person and Time and Property and Responsibilities. That this was impractiable where these were connected, DISCONNECTION, or Individualization of these, therefore, appeared to be the process required. A habitual respect to this Individual Sovereignty, it was perceived, would constitute Equitable moral commerce. The question then arose, how could this complete sovereignty of the individual over its own time and property be preserved through the process of exchanging them in the pecuniary commerce of society? This great point was settled by the idea of time for time or Labor