A town formerly known as Modern Times, NY.

March 20, 2008

Brentwood used to be known as Modern Times. Modern Times was an individualist anarchist, utopian colony begun on March 21, 1851 on 750 acres (3 km²) of land on Long Island, New York, by Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews. By contract, all land was bought and sold at cost, with three acres being the maximum allowable lot size. The community was said to be based in the idea of “individual sovereignty” and “individual responsibility.” There was an understanding that there was to be no initiation of coercion, leaving all individuals to pursue their self-interest as they saw fit. All products of labor were considered private property. The community had a local private currency based upon labor exchange in order to trade goods and services (see Mutualism). All land was private property, with the exception of alleys which were initially considered common property but later converted to private property. No system of authority existed in the colony. There were no courts, no jails, and no police; yet, there are no reports of any problem with crime existing there. This appears to have given some credence to Warren’s theories that the most significant cause of violence in society was most attributable to policies and law which did not allow complete individuality in person and property. However, the modest population of the colony might be considered a factor in this characteristic. The Civil War, as well as a gradual infiltration into the community by those that did not share the same libertarian and economic philosophy, is said to have contributed to its eventual dissolution. The colony’s location is now known as Brentwood, New York. Almost all of the original buildings that existed in Modern Times have been destroyed. (via)

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