The Oneida Perfectionists had a vision of utopian life, and they structured their communities according to ideological similarities.

1. First, it believed that its members had entered into an exclusive covenant with God.

2. Secondly, this covenant required them to provide an example of righteous living for the rest of the world to observe.

3. Third, that in this community the individual was to be sublimated to the community as a whole.

4. Fourth, that to provide this example, the community must necessarily separate itself from the society at large and carve out a new place for themselves.

5. Fifth, it revolved around the leadership of an authoritarian figure who prescribed a particular set of rules for its members to follow.

6. Finally, John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Perfectionists were responding as Winthrop and the Puritans to changing social conditions that undermined their understanding of themselves and their place in their society.

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Looking at the itemized list, it's astonishing to me how many different ways they got it utterly WRONG.  Their presumption and hubris likely doomed them from the get-go, though admittedly, I know nothing of the Oneida colony.  The very premises outlined here are a formula for disaster.

I agree, if one bases his or her values on an imagined god, sublimates the individual to the community, separates from the larger community, and submits to an authoritarian leader, then there is a higher probability that a culture will fail.  





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