Joshua Muravchik and Bryan Caplan on Field Trials of Socialism

At this link, Bryan Caplan does a great job of framing Joshua Muravchik’s account of Robert Owen’s utopian socialist experiments. Bryan sums up his take in this way:

Until now, I’d always thought that despite his pretensions, Marx was no better than the Utopian socialists.  Now I realize that this was entirely unfair.  Marx was decidedly inferior to his “Utopian” rivals.  They were wrong, but at least they had the common sense and common decency to beta test their radical proposals on a small scale with consenting subjects.