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Since the 1820s small groups of socialist and anarchist reformers and revolutionaries had established model communities as essentially arguments by example. They hoped that the success of such communities would inspire others and silence critics who argued that communal or collective modes of social organization were contrary to human nature. Most failed in five years of less, but this did not dissuade later enthusiasts from trying again. The Llano Colony included among its sponsors prominent California Socialists including Job Harriman, the 1900 Socialist vice presidential candidate and 1911 Socialist Los Angeles mayoral candidate. After several years in Southern California, the group sold its California property and relocated to Louisiana where it survived longer than most such efforts. The counterculture of the late 1960s spawned a new wave of rural communes but few lasted any longer than those of earlier generations.

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