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Balthasar Hübmaier

bed-linen and such personal effects were treated as individual property, but all else was owned in common. There must necessarily have been much interference with personal liberty under such a system. For example, marriage outside of the community was strictly forbidden and was punished by instant expulsion. The young sisters who manifested some reluctance to marrying the only eligible suitors were virtually compelled to matrimony.

Economically the experiment was successful—as to that the testimony is ample and unanimous. There were no drones allowed in these busy hives, and there was no poverty. The socialist ideal of equal effort by all, and equal sharing by all in the fruits of labour, was fully realised. Industry and frugality, together with good management, had their reward, and the communities without exception became prosperous, not to say rich. It cannot be safely argued from this fact, however, that a general socialistic organisation of a nation would be economically successful; for these were a picked people in more respects than one, with much less than their due proportion of the