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4 On Dec. 16, 1843, Mr. Garrison wrote to H. C. Wright in Dublin (Ms.): ‘John A. Collins is almost entirely absorbed in his “Community” project at Skaneateles, and is therefore unable to do much directly for the antislavery cause. He goes for a community of interest, and against all individual possessions, whether of land or its fruits—of labor or its products; but he does not act very consistently with his principles, though he says he does the best he can in the present state of society. He holds, with Robert Owen, that man is the creature of circumstances, and therefore not deserving of praise or blame for what he does—a most absurd and demoralizing doctrine, in my opinion, which will make shipwreck of any man or any scheme under its guidance, in due season. Still, it cannot be denied that circumstances are often very unfavorable to the development of man's faculties and moral nature; and if, by a reorganization of society, these can be rendered more favorable,—as doubtless they can,—let it take place. But it is an internal rather than an outward reorganization that is needed to put away the evil that is in the world.’ Compare Lib. 14.3, 168.
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