Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1: The Spatial Extent of the Socialist Community - Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis
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1: The Spatial Extent of the Socialist Community - Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis 
Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, trans. J. Kahane, Foreword by F.A. Hayek (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981).
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The Spatial Extent of the Socialist Community
Early Socialism is marked by its predilection for a return to the simpler modes of production of primitive times. Its ideal is the self-sufficing village, or, at most, the self-sufficing province—a town around which a number of villages are grouped. Being averse to all trade and commerce, its protagonists regard foreign trade as something entirely evil which must be abolished. Foreign Trade introduces superfluous commodities into the country. Since it was once possible to do without them, it is obvious that they are unnecessary, and that only the extreme ease with which they can be procured is responsible for the unnecessary expenditure upon them. Foreign Trade undermines morality and introduces foreign ideas and customs. In Utopia the stoic ideal of self-mastery was transmuted into the economic ideal of self-sufficiency. Plutarch found it an admirable thing in Lycurgusan Sparta—as romantically conceived in his day—that no merchant ship ever entered her harbours.1
This attachment to the ideal of economic self-sufficiency, and their complete incapacity to understand the nature of trade and commerce, led the Utopians to overlook the problem of the territorial limits of the ideal state. Whether the borders of fairyland are to be wider or narrower in extent does not enter into their considerations. In the tiniest village there is space enough to realize their plans. In this way it was possible to think of realizing Utopia tentatively in small instalments. Owen founded the New Harmony community in Indiana. Cabet founded a small Icaria in Texas. Considerant founded a model phalanstery in the same state. “Duodecimo editions of the New Jerusalem,” jeers the Communist Manifesto.
It was only gradually that socialists came to perceive that the self-sufficiency of a small area could provide no foundation for Socialism. Thompson, a disciple of Owen, remarked that the realization of equality among the members of one community was far from signifying the realization of equality between the members of different communities. Under the influence of this discovery, he turned to centralized Socialism.2 Saint-Simon and his school were thorough centralizers. Pecqueur’s schemes of reform claimed to be national and universal.3
Thus emerges a problem peculiar to Socialism. Can Socialism exist within limited areas of the earth’s surface? Or is it necessary that the entire inhabited world should constitute a unitary socialistic community?
[1. ]Poehlmann, Geschichte der sozialen Frage und des Sozialismus in der antiken Welt, Vol. I, pp. 110 ff.; 123 ff.
[2. ]Tugan-Baranowsky, Der moderne Sozialismus in seiner geschichtlichen Entwicklung (Dresden, 1908), p. 136.
[3. ]Pecqueur, Théorie nouvelle d’Économie sociale et politique, p. 699.