august memories / 10


10th August, 1909 : An Australian experiment in utopian living ended when community land at the Cosme colony in Paraguay was sold off to private owners. Cosme was established in May 1894 as an offshoot of the New Australia colony, founded by the socialist ex-journalist William Lane the previous year. New Australia, 84 miles from the capital, Asuncion, soon collapsed, but the smaller settlement, 20 miles away, proved hardier. Lane and 58 of his supporters ran it as a “prohibition” cooperative, sharing work and profits equally. Lane left in 1899 and the community began to decline in 1905.

[ “From wikipedia: “Contriving a division among Australian labour activists between the permanently disaffected and those who later formed the Australian Labor Party, Lane refused the Queensland Government’s offer of a grant of land on which to create a utopian settlement, and began an Australia-wide campaign for the creation of a new society elsewhere on the globe, peopled by rugged and sober Australian bushmen and their proud wives.” So the sober ones went to Paraguay and the others established ALP. The result in both cases an unmitigated disaster.]

About Avadoro Worden

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