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  • Spread the Word, Not the Wealth

    Communism, it is often said, will work under the proper conditions. Though it might fail in a big country with millions of disconnected individuals, it should work in a small community of relatively close-knit comrades, who would thrive under a system of shared burden and harvest.

    If you think that successful communism is small communism, the experience of America’s first settlers should dispel any romantic notions you may harbor on the subject.

    Plymouth Colony, a small community of settlers struggling to survive in a new land, learned about the benefits of private property the hard way. When the colony began in 1621, all the goods and products were held in a “common stock.” All were to contribute equally and share equally in the community’s bounty—or lack thereof.  The governor of Plymouth Colony, William Bradford, recorded the experiment of communal living in his journal. As he explains, there was little harvest and much dissatisfaction. Young men objected to working for the benefit of other men’s wives and children. The strong objected that they received the same amount of food and clothing as the weak. The older men objected to laboring the same amount as the young. The women objected to performing household chores for men other than their husbands, deeming it “a kind of slavery.”

    In response to the dearth of crops, starvation, and overall miserable condition that communal living had produced, Bradford introduced a system of private property in agriculture. He assigned “to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family.”  This new system of private property proved prosperous and enlivening. Men, women, and children no longer thought labor to be tyrannical and oppressive, and instead became industrious stewards of their individual plots of land, resulting in bountiful harvests.

    From Plymouth Colony’s transformation, Bradford concluded that communism was incompatible with human nature. It is vain to advocate that “taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make [men] happy and flourishing.  For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.”

    It only took Plymouth Colony three years (and several bouts of starvation) to clarify that pilgrim socialism was a failure. Equality is not desirable when it means equally starving to death. This Thanksgiving, as we celebrate family, and friends, and the blessings of this life, let us also recall our other inheritance from the Pilgrims—that of private property.

    Posted in Featured, First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Spread the Word, Not the Wealth

    1. Chris says:

      Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I have much to be thankful for. I am a Christian American citizen, who remembers our heritage and is thankful for their efforts that helped make America's history. Their strong belief in God, and in their fortitude brought them through the difficult times. We too, must remember our history and our great democracy that has serves us so well. Times are changing, and there are many who think they can change history, change our Bill of Rights, our Constitution, and our strong faith in God.

      Stand strong America, don't allow this to happen to this great nation. Get your wristband as a daily reminder of our Faith and Trust in God and Country. http://www.PatrioticChristiansToday.com God bless America.

    2. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 11.25.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    3. Sam Gross says:

      We know that our arguments are dictated by our needs and our needs cannot be dictated to by arguments.

    4. Alvie Miller, Arthur says:

      This should be required reading for President Obama and his team!

    5. Richard Wells says:

      I guess the people that write school textbooks "overlooked" that "minor detail" when they wrote HS American History. I never heard any suggestion that anything other than disease and bad luck killed so many of the Pilgrims.

      If you ignore history you are bound to repeat it.

    6. David in MA says:

      "Communism, it is often said, will work under the proper conditions. Though it might fail in a big country with millions of disconnected individuals, it should work in a small community of relatively close-knit comrades, who would thrive under a system of shared burden and harvest." THAT WAS TRIED IN THE SO CALLED COMMUNES…….and it failed because those working outside the communes grew tired of giving their "earned wealth" to the commune and thus to those who did not work outside, but stayed "home" . Even the hippies grew tired of it and went out on their own.All one has to do is search out and identify those close to obama, they used to be anti-government hippies, and look at them now!

    7. Bill, Massachusetts says:

      Sirs, your high regard for "private property", by your standard, did not apply to the Native Americans who populated the "new found Land".. It is absolutely preposterous that you would condone Pilgrims' taking of native lands as their own when history displays the Native Americans largely welcoming the "foreigners" and gave of their bounty during that first winter.

      At once, the colonies began to flourish, and with it, the consumate hunger for more as the losses of land and life by the indigenous people continued. The things that you cherish the most are not based on principles of sharing and caring, only on me, mine and screw-you Capitalism. Thankfulness for one's "piece of pie" suggests a general concept of sharing as opposed to our modern society's onslaught for profit and to gain by any means, the WHOLE pie for themselves.

      And THIS is part of your "Credo" ?

      It is no wonder that no comments preceded this one.

      We of this era need to recognize the true nature of the beast that is among us.

    8. Robert Lebischak, Gu says:

      My big question is this, why isn't this taught in our schools to 1"st graders. I'm 61 and I don't ever remember hearing this before. Thank you for putting it out, and lets get it into the schools fast and actually teach our children about this Nation.

    9. Enriqué says:

      Thanks for the historical research.

      And it seems that communism, is Anti-Torah as well.

      Thanks again.

    10. DEFEATOBAMAIN2012 says:

      Very Interesting, something I didn't know about our 1st Pilgrims.
      After working from age 16 to age 60, and making donations to church & charities of my choice,
      I always wondered why I should give to people too lazy to try even to better themselves,
      they had the same options I did, but didn't apply themselves. It seems the more you give them the more they think they are entitled to have without any effort on their part. I have no use or sympathy for these so called rich kids/adults that think the world owes them what they are demanding. I had to work for what I have with out any help. It's time for them to get a grip and start to contribute and not just take.

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