26 Remarkable Robert Owen Quotes

Robert Owen was a Welsh social reformer and founder of the cooperative movement and utopian socialism. Spending his middle years traveling to America, Owen invested in a 1,000 member utopian colony referred to as New Harmony Society. Here is a look at some of the most memorable Robert Owen quotes to know.

“Chastity is sexual intercourse with affection.”

“Courts of law, and all the paraphernalia and folly of law cannot be found in a rational state of society.”

“Eight hours daily labour is enough for any human being, and under proper arrangements sufficient to afford an ample supply of food, raiment and shelter, or the necessaries and comforts of life, and for the remainder of his time, every person is entitled to education, recreation and sleep.”

“Finding that no religion is based on facts and cannot therefore be true, I began to reflect what must be the condition of mankind trained from infancy to believe in errors.”

“God and the Doctor we alike adore But only when in danger, not before; The danger o’er, both are alike requited, God is forgotten, and the Doctor slighted.”

“I was forced, through seeing the error of their foundation, to abandon all belief in every religion which had been taught to man. But my religious feelings were immediately replaced by the spirit of universal charity.”


“Is it not the interest of the human race, that every one should be so taught and placed, that he would find his highest enjoyment to arise from the continued practice of doing all in his power to promote the well-being.”

“It is confidently expected that the period is at hand, when man, through ignorance, shall not much longer inflict unnecessary misery on man; because the mass of mankind will become enlightened, and will clearly discern that by so acting they will inevitably create misery to themselves.”

“It is therefore, the interest of all, that every one, from birth, should be well educated, physically and mentally, that society may be improved in its character.”

“Man is the creature of circumstances.”

“My life was not useless; I gave important truths to the world, and it was only for want of understanding that they were disregarded. I have been ahead of my time.”

“My reason taught me that I could not have made one of my own qualities – they were forced upon me by Nature; that my language, religion, and habits were forced upon me by Society.”

“Never argue, repeat your assertion.”

“No obstacle whatsoever intervenes at this moment except ignorance to prevent such a state of society from becoming universal.”

“Of course quality is important but is it not the quality of an individual’s originality that is most important?”

“Since the introduction of inanimate mechanism into British manufactories, man, with few exceptions, has been treated as a secondary and inferior machine; and far more attention has been given to perfect the raw materials of wood and metals than those of body and mind.”

“Society may be formed so as to exist without crime, without poverty, with health greatly improved, with little, if any misery, and with intelligence and happiness increased a hundredfold.”

“The advanced members of the medical profession know that the health of society is not to be obtained or maintained by medicines; – that it is far better, far more easy and far wiser, to adopt substantive measures to prevent disease of body or mind.”

“The advantage of pure, and the disadvantage of impure air are experienced each time we breathe, and all who understand the causes of disease know that an impure atmosphere is most unfavourable to the enjoyment of health.”

“The lowest stage of humanity is experienced when the individual must labour for a small pittance of wages from others.”

“There are good hearts to serve men in palaces as in cottages.”

“There is but one mode by which man can possess in perpetuity all the happiness which his nature is capable of enjoying, — that is by the union and co-operation of all for the benefit of each.”

“To preserve permanent good health, the state of mind must be taken into consideration.”

“To train and educate the rising generation will at all times be the first object of society, to which every other will be subordinate.”

“Where are these rational practices to be taught and acquired? Not within the four walls of a bare building, in which formality predominates… But in the nursery, play-ground, fields, gardens, workshops, manufactures, museums and class-rooms.”

“Women will be no longer made the slaves of, or dependent upon men…They will be equal in education, rights, privileges and personal liberty.”

Here is a close up look at Dr. Robert Owen as he appears in this interview.