I just spent some time on an interesting read in Wikipedia about the Icarians--the 'utopian' (communal socialist) group that inhabited Nauvoo after it was vacated by the Mormons. (Thanks for referring me to read about them, Chrstine.)
As I read through it, I found this summary interesting:
. . .
From start to finish, the entire Icarian movement lasted only forty-nine years. Like all utopias of this era, the Icarians met their demise from within their own community. Poor planning and poor financial management along with personal disputes seem to be at the root of the disbandment. Although the disagreements were never mentioned in complete detail, it was obvious that debt was their biggest downfall.
. . .
I find it interesting that one of the primary causes of the downfall of this community (which was, in essence, its own society and its own civilization) was cited as being financial in nature. From what I understand of most organizations, financing can be at the root of their downfall. It's true in business; it's true in marriages; and, as illustrated by the Icarians (and certainly a variety of other groups), it's true in organized civil societies.
I'm now a little concerned about our nation. The underlying question (that I don't think anyone is answering) is: How are we going to pay for everything we're spending? If the answer is "the citizens of our nation will cough it up" I'm even more concerned because the Icarians (again) proved that you can take EVERYTHING (in terms of property and wealth) from a person or a people, and STILL not break even on the programs you're running--and ultimately crumble as a society.
I do take comfort in the fact that the overall tone of the recent general conference of the church was extraordinarily upbeat. . . .but it seemed upbeat spiritually--not necessarily economically, socially, or politically. Any words of comfort here (regarding the long-term health of our nation) would be appreciated.
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