Front Page Titles (by Subject) Sin and Society - Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1
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Sin and Society - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Sin and Society
“Adin Ballou and the Perfectionist's Dilemma.” Journal of Church and State (USA), 17 (1975): 459–476.
Adilemma surfaces in studying Adin Ballou's life: How could the pre-Civil War “perfectionists” live a sinless life in a sinful world? Unlike those who considered socialist utopianism to be an “intellectual dalliance with pseudoreform,” perfectionism rested on the bedrock of revivalism which swept the country at that time. Turning to Adin Ballou, founder of Hopedale community in 1842, we may ask: How did this middle class, moderate man come to believe that the only way to change society was to separate himself completely from it? What exactly was the perfectionist's analysis of the American society which so repelled him, and how did he arrive at it?
Perfectionism was a compelling system of thought, one which dictated a precise and powerful view of man and his relationship to both the God who created him and the society in which the perfectionist lived. Perfectionism defined a specific goal, the regeneration of society, but it prohibited the believer from utilizing the institutions of society to achieve that goal. This dilemma could only be solved in one way: by a complete break with society and its sinridden institutions. The solution to it was found in utopian socialism.
In describing Adin Ballou one meets a man who claimed to be a Christian socialist, but is dealing with perfectionism in general. One thereby can examine the attempts to resolve the conflict between the individual and the state, with the consequent disavowal of the state as an agency of reform. One can also trace how a large number of reformers sought a way out of statism.