longer a brother of your band, I shall always take the warmest interest in your progress, and shall heartily rejoice at your success — of which I can see no reasonable doubt.It is proper to add that the organization in both of its forms was based strictly on the principles of mutual association, from which it never departed. It believed heartily in co-operation but never became in the slightest degree communistic. It never indulged in the delusion that each member should have an equal profit in the earnings and advantages of the association, but held to the last that these should be divided according to the respective interests of the share-holders. It never opened its doors to the world at large, but selected its members from the best of those asking to be admitted. Its plan was to pay each member fairly for his work, and charge a fair price for what each person got. Manifestly a society of this sort might continue to flourish so long as it chose its members with proper care, sold its stock for a sufficiently high price, and had a membership sufficiently large to include all the necessary human pursuits, with a market of outsiders sufficiently near to buy its surplus products at remunerative prices. Whatever may have been the merits or demerits of the plan on which the association was founded, and however fanciful may have been its ideals, with its “groups and phalanxes,” its “hives and eyries,” its membership included many of the highest and brightest minds of the day. “Their character was approved.” They lived in the ordinary privacy, except that they boarded together and spent their evenings in talk, music, and dancing, upon which there was no bar. They were idealists who hoped to evolve a superior form of society, but there was too little capital and not enough profitable work to insure the success of their interesting experiment.
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