When I first began reading Thomas More's Utopia I thought it naive to think any society of more than fifty people continually be hard-working, but taking only what they "need" for consumption, without having to document who took what or having to ration goods. However, I was proven wrong by the 1875 book American Utopias by Charles Nordhoff, who showed that when people self-select into a community for strong religious feelings, such utopias can exist.
Whether such communities can be forced upon people is much less likely, and if history has been documented properly, has never been done.
I wonder why these religious communes all were somewhat heretical in their religious beliefs. For example, the Shakers believed Christ had come a second time in the form of a woman. Did any communes follow a conventional Christian creed? I don't know. I can't recall reading of one.
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