Owen believed that humans behave badly because of upbringing, education, and environment, and not because they were born that way.
Children in a cannibal society grow up to be adult cannibals. Children in a selfish, competitive society grow up to be selfish and competitive. No one is innately depraved or evil. An infant is a glob of plastic that can be molded …—Sam Blumenfeld
Owen established the Institution for the Formation of Character at New Lanark in Scotland where he devised a scientific curriculum to create rational, cooperative human beings, devoid of selfishness, religious superstition, and all of the other traits found in capitalist man.
In 1825 he came to America where he and his followers promoted a national system of secular education.
Public education was the result of an unholy alliance between Owenites, who wanted public schools to promote socialism, Unitarians who wanted public schools to get rid of Calvinist influence, and Protestants who wanted public schools to counter increasing Catholic immigration. The system we now have is anti-Christian, pro-socialist, and owned lock, stock, and barrel by behavioral psychologists. It is a training system designed to treat children as little animals in conformity with the educators’ prevailing belief in evolution.—Sam Blumenfeld
For more on Owen and his affect on public education, see 19th Century Communists and the Origin of American Public Education by Sam Blumenfeld