Why the Oneida Community Dissolved

The Oneida Community was a religious commune that existed from 1848 til 1881 in Oneida, New York. This community practiced complex marriage whose aim was to control human breeding. Doctors’ handwritten medical records now made available for research by the Kinsey institute prove that the breeding system was real and meticulous.

As demonstrated before, religions and religious communes might be considered fauceirs (here and here). Applying evolutionary rules, religious communes might be considered as individuals and the set of all such communes as the population. Communes propagate if they show better fitness than their competitors. The fitness of a community nowadays is mainly defined by the fecundity of its members. It was not always that way. In the period of early Christendom missionary work played the dominating role because of two reasons Christians have been persecuted and killed and there were lot of people still not under such a strong religious control. This picture changed with time, as the competitive religions evolved a missionary defense system compatible to our immune system. For the reason that most people are capable to fend off religious intrusions, Blume pointed out that mass conversions are rather an exception. In recent history the success of a religion is determined solely by the fecundity of its members and the capability to effectively indoctrinate the children with their parents’ faith. Not surprisingly then are the facts

  1. that the world’s dominating, hence most successful, religions dislike birth control, and
  2. that communities that successfully proliferate show the highest rate of increase.

However, knowing this rule does not answer the question why the Oneida community dissolved. On the contrary, the Oneida community launched an active breeding system, encouraging its members to proliferate. They practiced eugenics that should have assured an increasing number of outstanding members. Despite of all that they dissolved, or should I better say because of all that. There is an other fauceir rule that explains the dissolution of that community (which had been outlined before.)

A social fauceir can be stabilized by stereotyping its members,

And the reversal of that rule is also true. A human society becomes unstable and even dissolves if its members become capable enough to leave the stereotype.

From that rule follows that each human society that encourage its members to become more capable is digging its own grave. This is not only the case with the Oneida community, but also the recent Tunisian Revolution that started years after the government launched a huge program to advance education.

Well I admit fauceir theory develops ultimate causes of a historic process only. The immediate causes why the Oneida Community dissolved are quite different. But even these causes that were mainly conflicts between the older and the younger generations support the ultimate cause that more favorable properties of the engineered new generation cause conflicts with the existing old-fashioned rules of the society.

By contrast to what social leaders want to make us believe, the dissolution of a social fauceir is not a catastrophic event. On the contrary, if the dissolution takes place because of reasons of improvement, the members usually form new even more successful social fauceirs.

Creative Commons License

This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.


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