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Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:23 PM

The Pilgrims experiment with communal property and socialism ended badly

William Bradford was the governor of the Plymouth Colony for 30 years and wrote a journal of their experience. His journal, On Plymouth Plantation, documented the hardships, disputes and progress of the Pilgrims beginning in 1608 until 1647. This passage describes how a parcel of land and the production thereof was assigned to each family. The results were that "women now went willingly into the field and took their little ones with them to set corn" where before the women would complain that children were unable and too weak and "whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression."

Bradford then describes their previous socialist experiment "tried sundry years" "that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing;" "was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort." "For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine (complain) that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense." "And for men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery,".

CHAPTER 16|Document 1

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 120--21

1623
All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so 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 had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato's and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. 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. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labours and victuals, clothes, etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them. And would have been worse if they had been men of another condition. Let none object this is men's corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch16s1.html

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Reply The Pilgrims experiment with communal property and socialism ended badly (Original post)
True Earthling Nov 2012 OP
grantcart Nov 2012 #1
Submariner Nov 2012 #2
True Earthling Nov 2012 #6
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #23
cali Nov 2012 #46
kestrel91316 Nov 2012 #54
white_wolf Nov 2012 #3
GeorgeGist Nov 2012 #8
socialist_n_TN Nov 2012 #50
Moonwalk Nov 2012 #4
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #11
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #17
white_wolf Nov 2012 #22
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #26
Moonwalk Nov 2012 #48
Moonwalk Nov 2012 #47
jmowreader Nov 2012 #57
lumberjack_jeff Nov 2012 #12
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #25
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #38
Moonwalk Nov 2012 #49
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #24
Matariki Nov 2012 #33
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #40
Matariki Nov 2012 #44
Moonwalk Nov 2012 #51
Arctic Dave Nov 2012 #5
CreekDog Nov 2012 #62
Moonwalk Nov 2012 #7
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #41
Moonwalk Nov 2012 #55
True Earthling Nov 2012 #59
CreekDog Nov 2012 #64
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #52
GeorgeGist Nov 2012 #9
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #10
Flabbergasted Nov 2012 #13
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #15
Flabbergasted Nov 2012 #16
True Earthling Nov 2012 #19
Flabbergasted Nov 2012 #20
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #27
Flabbergasted Nov 2012 #31
eShirl Nov 2012 #35
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #36
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #43
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #28
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #29
Flabbergasted Nov 2012 #30
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #32
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #39
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #42
fishwax Nov 2012 #45
Zorra Nov 2012 #14
The Midway Rebel Nov 2012 #18
Tsiyu Nov 2012 #65
JaneyVee Nov 2012 #21
lumberjack_jeff Nov 2012 #34
True Earthling Nov 2012 #56
jmowreader Nov 2012 #58
BanTheGOP Nov 2012 #37
True Earthling Nov 2012 #53
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #60
DireStrike Nov 2012 #61
HereSince1628 Nov 2012 #63
ceile Nov 2012 #66
marmar Nov 2012 #67

Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:26 PM

1. The greatest secret of the Pilgrims were that they were failed communists.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:37 PM

2. The Pilgrims were thieves, liars, cannibals and killers

so it should be no surprise that their experiment ended badly.

Thanksgiving: A National Day of Mourning for Indians

http://bermudaradical.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/thanksgiving-a-national-day-of-mourning-for-indians-2/

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Response to Submariner (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:43 PM

6. So the failure had nothing to do with the system...

It was the people who failed the system...

Gotcha.

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Response to Submariner (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:13 PM

23. Ah, truly the pilgrims were unique among humans then

 

I can't think of any other group of people who fits that description.

Except, if you take a long view of history, every single group of humans since our species came in to existence.

And old world diseases would have mostly wiped out the Indians regardless of whether the Pilgrims came in peace to trade and talk or in war to kill and enslave. They had no concept of what disease was. So it would have spread from any kind of contact.

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Response to Submariner (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 06:19 PM

46. that's just ridiculous.

They were neither saints and heroes or the evil entities you claim. But people like you who adhere to the simplistic black/white view of history have no understanding of it whatsofucking ever.

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Response to Submariner (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 10:17 PM

54. I descend from a large number of pilgrims, including a minimum of 4

Mayflower passengers and probably more than 6. I am pretty sure that they were not ALL horrible people.

Please don't insult my heritage with that broad brush you're slinging about.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:39 PM

3. How can you have socialism without first having capitalism?

The mere fact that they tried a communal system doesn't mean it was socialism.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:54 PM

8. all kinds of animals do it.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 07:07 PM

50. We think alike wolf......

There wasn't enough wealth amassed to make socialism work in the early 17th Century. Now a form of pre-slave culture communalism might have been possible, but a true socialism? Not likely at that time.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:41 PM

4. They did it totally wrong. The Shakers did it right, and had complete success...

...and they started off in nearly as bad a shape as the Pilgrims. But they were very smart. They said that everyone was "brothers and sisters" and no one belonged to anyone else. That is, marriage and sexual relations were not allowed. So women couldn't resent washing clothes not belonging to their husbands, because no one was their husband--everyone was their brother and it was the task of some of them to do all the washing. And young men couldn't resent not being respected as they didn't have to prove themselves "men" to their womenfolk--they had no sexual congress with their "sisters" and were not going to have any such congress. There was no impressing a girl or proving himself a good husband and provider.

And the Shakers had each brother and sister work--yes, wait for it--according to their means and abilities. Thus, those who could farm, farmed. And those who couldn't farm, didn't, but instead cooked or cleaned.

AND they didn't discriminate. They took in and treated blacks as equals. Race made no difference to the Shakers. Everyone was a brother or sister--those coming to see their meetings were astonished to see African Americans among them, not segregated or treated any differently. Likewise, though women had different duties, they were also equal--in part because their founder was a woman. The power structure demanded that the leaders be two men, two women. Unlike our Pilgrims there who viewed Native Americans as savages and unequal and women as lesser than men. It's hard to be a true socialist if one is going to discriminate.

Of course, the greatest part of their socialist success of the Shakers is that none of them were aiming to make money or be profitable or provide for their children (no sex, no kids, no wanting to pass things to them). They wanted enough for comfort on Earth, but that's it. When they had excess, they gave it away to charity. Their aim was to have a place to glorify god and pray as they liked--and when anyone joined the Shakers, they joined because they wanted to live this socialist lifestyle (they were given two years to see if it agreed with them before the Shakers took them in completely). They wanted a future where all they did was worship with like-minded others and enjoy god's bounty on Earth. With that aim in mind, a focus on something bigger and greater, socialism really works. It was an astonishing success for the Shakers for much longer and in much bigger numbers than it ought to have been given their "no sex" policies.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:00 PM

11. How did the Shakers survive more than one generation with no sex? The rule itself contradicts

living beings natural tendencies. My guess is that the Shakers had some system of shame and banishment for a person that didn't conform to the communal code. Banishment would have been bad because the banished person might not survive on his or her own.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:19 PM

17. The Dominicans have the same rule and are coming up on their 800th birthday. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:57 PM

22. As do many Buddhist Sanghas and they are approaching their 2,500th birthday. n/t

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:20 PM

26. Adoption

 

they'd find poor kids without parents and induct them in to their cult at a young age (before they were really able to think on their own).

And then the occasional adult convert.

They took a huge hit when states started setting up their own orphanages and limiting how many kids the shakers could adopt.

Strict believers in celibacy, Shakers acquired their members through conversion, indenturing children, and adoption of orphans. Some children, such as Isaac N. Youngs, came to the Shakers when their parents joined, then grew up to become faithful members as adults.

Many, however, did not remain Shakers. Turnover was high; the group reached maximum size of about 6,000 full members in 1840, but as of December 2009 had only three members left. Only a few of the original Shaker buildings are still in use today.


If they weren't communally based people here would be calling them creepy cultists preying on children.

/oh and there are 5 total left today.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #26)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 06:59 PM

48. Actually, most of the orphans the Shakers took in left....

It was one of the reasons the Shakers had a hard time maintaining their fortunes. They took in and raised the kids, feed and clothed them, but only something like 20% stayed. The other 80% left. So they really weren't able to replenish their number from the orphans they adopted.

Most of their numbers were replenished by adult converts. If you think of the times they were living in, how easy for a single farmer to fail and fall on hard times, how easy for a widow with children to have no other options, it becomes very clear why they were so popular. They offered a place where the person wasn't going to have to work nearly so hard--do it all--to survive, and, yes, even thrive. The man/woman didn't have to think of where they were going to get clothes, the next meal, etc. They only had to do whatever work they wanted to do and were good at. And they only had to do that work for a reasonable number of hours, not work themselves to death.

Very progressive for their times. But still a cult with a cult mentality.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 06:54 PM

47. Like any Nunnery or Monastery--they took in outsiders, including orphans...

Prior to the industrial revolution, the Shakers were a great place for homeless women (with their children) to go to, or men who were not being successful, or orphans, or people just poor and hungry. Their lives were amazingly good compared to most of the rest of America. Good working conditions, good clothes and shoes, three meals a day, health care, etc. One had to follow the rules and pray a lot, and forgo sex and romance and such--but to a battered widow with ten kids--that wasn't always so much a sacrifice. And for someone who would otherwise be worked to death on someone else's farm, that could be accepted in exchange for a little piece of heaven.

So the Shakers got a lot of converts and were kept thriving up till the Civil War. Then, when opportunities for people exploded and there were a lot of other jobs than farming and such, well, then they shrunk. And the "no kids" element started to hurt them. Now there are only three Shakers, all very elderly, still alive. Their religion more or less came and went, but it had a good run. A pretty amazing one for the time.

I'm not, by the way, trying to glorify the Shakers--just comparing one cult to another. Like the Puritans, the Shakers had very rigid rules; like the Puritans, the Shakers separated themselves from the rest of the world in order to have the theocratic "Eden" they wanted. Like the Shakers, the Puritans believed in avoiding the ornate and going for the simple and plain. But unlike the Puritans, the Shakers recognized that certain things were not in harmony with Communist living, and they maximized what was in harmony with such living (like men and women being equal) and minimized what was not in harmony with such living.

The Puritans had a work ethic that said if you worked hard, got success, god favored you--so if you were poor it was your fault. The Shakers, instead, didn't view personal success as any comment from god; they said that one should enjoy ones work because it celebrated god and helped the community.

If a cult, like the Puritans, wanted a Communist structure to work, then they should have done it like those that do work. Nunneries, Monasteries and Shakers. What works is to erase any element that makes the individual proud, competitive, or, frankly, an individual apart from the community rather than a valued member of the community. Nunneries, Monasteries, Shakers and such, all advocate humility and equality. This makes for good communism.

It not good for other things, mind. Like the military, everyone must follow order and not question, and certainly not think outside the community. But it can lead to an "eden" for those within if they're all onboard with it.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:53 PM

57. They adopted foundlings, for one thing

When there were men in the colony they may also have had sex for procreation only, and not written of it.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:02 PM

12. Complete success? That explains why we are overrun with Shaker communities today.

By overrun, I mean "one" and by community, I mean "five people".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakers#Modern-day_Shakers

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:17 PM

25. It's not clear how they didn't see that coming

 

Step 1) ban sex
Step 2) ?????
Step 3) Shakers everywhere!

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:24 PM

38. Classic

 

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 07:02 PM

49. They did see it coming in regards to "if everyone was a Shaker..." However...

They pretty much knew that everyone wasn't going to be a shaker. Hence, just like nunneries and monasteries (no sex there!), they knew that there would always be the outside world, repopulating, to replenish their numbers. Or so they thought.

Lack of sex--as monasteries and nunneries show, doesn't necessarily means the end of a your cult. But it can mean the end of your religion if other things lure away those who would join the cult and, without kids, you're left with no way to replenish the ranks.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:16 PM

24. There are currently 5 shakers in existance

 

Not 5 communities, 5 individuals.

So yeah, amazing success.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:14 PM

33. You are saying that a community that forbade sex was "doing it right"?

I just can't believe that. I defies human nature and I seriously doubt there was no sex.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #33)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:28 PM

40. It was such a smashing success that the earth currently boasts upwards of 5 shakers

 

Which would put them on the IUCN list of critically endangered (may be extinct within our lifetime). This makes acquiring a hunting permit damn near impossible.

A captive breeding program was attempted but . . . well you know.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #40)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:49 PM

44. LOL.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #33)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 07:12 PM

51. What I meant was, if a cult--and the Puritans were a cult like the Shakers--

wants to succeed as a communist community, then they need to get rid of what people compete, fight, etc. for. I think it's clear that the Puritan's work ethic was going to make their attempt a failure no matter what, because they believed that if you worked and got rich from it, then god clearly favored you. And if you were poor, god didn't favor you. That puts an end to all being equal all the time, and that, in turn, ends any commune. And that doesn't even begin to take in the question of whether all men and women are already considered as being created equal or not.

The Shakers decided that sex was the thing that caused the most problems with competition, etc. And they weren't actually wrong there. Taking sex out of the equation made their cult's communal living a great success. Just as "no sex" has made nunneries and monasteries successful--because the focus is on god and working for the community, not having sex, not focusing on the kids from the sex.

BUT, there is certainly a price to pay if a cult goes in that direction. The communist living situation might succeed, but that doesn't mean that the cult will succeed. And, certainly, it's not the only way for a communist group to succeed. But evidence shows that it certainly works well to do away with sexual temptations and keep the focus on the faith and community. Which are important if you want a commune to succeed.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:43 PM

5. And in the end most of them died anyways.

 

Not due to "political ideology" but by natures reality.

Without the Indigineous populations helped, they would have died.

So it can be said that, cooperation is the key to survival.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:02 PM

62. one of the few useful posts in this thread

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:45 PM

7. It's lucky for them, also, that the Native Americans....

...weren't capitalists. Otherwise the Pilgrims would have starved because they'd have had nothing to pay the Native Americans for the food they needed when their experiment went horribly wrong. The Native Americans shared and fed them--at no cost.

Maybe the fact that the pilgrims couldn't make socialism work explains the problem with America today. Imagine if they hadn't been so selfish and narrow minded, so vain and stupid. If they really had looked toward the greater good, the larger future rather than just trying to greedily keep to their own. But then, they likely wouldn't have come to America at all. It was keeping to their own that made they leave Holland.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:29 PM

41. "Imagine if they hadn't been so selfish and narrow minded, so vain and stupid"

 

You mean if they were ants instead of humans?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #41)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:28 AM

55. I didn't know such studies had been done on the minds of ants....

...to know that ants aren't selfish, narrow-minded, vain or stupid. Can you point me to these studies that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they don't feel any such things?

Otherwise, you've just made a false and ridiculous comparison. I mean, I would have said "if they were like workers in soup kitchens, or firefighters who saved people in the world trade center, or like those who fought against segregation in the '60's or worked for the Red Cross and other medical aid to strangers half-a-world away--or even EMT's who save lives and no one ever knows their names.

This would be a viable comparison to me of what the Puritans might have been if they hadn't been selfish, narrow minded, vain and stupid. But I had no idea that science had found out that ants lacked all those unpleasant attributes. How interesting. Next time I talk to my friend who feeds the homeless, I'll let him know that he's just like an ant--not at all selfish or vain or narrow-minded.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #55)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:17 PM

59. Although altruistic deeds are to commended...

These people are not saints. My wife was an EMT and a teacher... but she is no saint. Every human is subject to weaknesses that can be described as vanity, greed, selfishness etc... no one is immune. It's called being human.

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Response to True Earthling (Reply #59)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:12 PM

64. I can think of one reason your wife might be a saint

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:18 PM

52. Not necessarily true

 

Lots of capitalists donate to others. It is called charity. Capitalism does not prohibit it.

However, it would likely have forced the Pilgrims to be very nice to the Indians so they would feel motivated to donate.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:56 PM

9. anti-social behavior begets ...

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:57 PM

10. Here is what I get from the op

Men are corrupted. Quote from the OP:

...I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them....


Unbalanced power is corrupting. One of the reasons our society has been so successful is we are now socialistic with the women in our families.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:09 PM

13. Propaganda... Right wing source...

Trying to equate socialism with the first year of their colony is lunacy. They didn't have the skills or resources to make a commune work.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:14 PM

15. What? It's a primary source. It predates the concept of "right wing" by 160 years. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:17 PM

16. This was not socialism. They tried to do things communally which didn't work

Because they didn't have the skills or resources or leadership to make it work.

And yes liberty fund is a rw source.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:26 PM

19. liberty fund?

RW source? Where are you getting that? The link from from the Univ of Chicago. You can find the text for "On Plymouth Plantation" on many websites - the text is the same.

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Response to True Earthling (Reply #19)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:33 PM

20. Click home from the link. This is obvious propaganda.

It's definitely not a detailed analysis. I think the buck stops with Bradford himself he obviously didn't have the leadership skills to convince people to work together communally.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:20 PM

27. This isn't "analysis"...it's the original document written in 1623.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #27)


Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:45 PM

35. myfreedompost.com?

haha

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Response to eShirl (Reply #35)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:53 PM

36. He's trying to prove that something written in the 1600s is retroactively neoconservative

Or something like that.

Because a primary document being stored on a right-wing site automatically makes the original author, who predates the whole philosophy by centuries, exactly the same thing.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:36 PM

43. So a document written in 1623 is some kind of right-wing propaganda?

The website linked in the OP contains NO commentary, unlike the vile right-wing website you use as a "source".

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:23 PM

28. Ahahahaha

 

Yes the pilgrims wrote this out centuries ago for foxnews viewers today.

/isn't it funny how every failing of capitalism is capitalism's fault because the system must be flawed but every failing of communism is people's fault since the system is perfect.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:26 PM

29. The text at that link is more than a century older than the United States.

You're just embarrassing yourself if you're claiming it's a right-wing source, just as much as you would if you claimed a Roman historian was.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:00 PM

32. It is not possible to be more direct than a primary source without being physically there. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:28 PM

39. i think he's saying that the OP wasn't researching bradford on his own, he got the

 

meme from a winger source.

just a guess.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #29)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:31 PM

42. Rome collapsed in a deliberate attempt to discredit promiscuity, homosexuality, and heathenism

 

The entire empire was an elaborate ruse concocted simply to give modern rightwingers an excuse to bash all those things and push laws banning them.

It's pretty obvious.

/and centralized planning.
/and public works
/and bathhouses
/and mutliculturalism
/and not speaking english

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 06:02 PM

45. It predates the concept of "socialism" as well n/t

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:12 PM

14. Imperialistic religious extremists would just naturally find sharing with others

to be impossible, I imagine.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:22 PM

18. I've heard this view of the Pilgrims expressed before.

On Fox News.

I have read more excerpts from Bradford's book elsewhere. Things not mentioned here are how Pilgrims did not work in the fields during those years because it was easier and cheaper to steal corn from the Indians and each other. Also, the problem with their communal property scheme was freeloaders not doing their share, as much the egos of young men.

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Response to The Midway Rebel (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:40 PM

65. Yes

I believe the first Christmas, the men spent getting drunk and stealing the Indians' cache of corn. They always managed to brag about the thefts, as if their larceny were a source of pride. Sort of like Wall Street bankers today.

And I am descended from both sides of those exchanges.

"Thou shalt not steal" never applies if you merely view your thievery as a way to "use" lesser beings who don't deserve their own stuff. Lesser beings would be like today's workers who don't deserve to receive real value in exchange for their labor.

If you can steal wages from the worker- or food from indigenous people - you can be wealthy and/or well-fed, but I wouldn't call that communism or socialism at all.















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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:41 PM

21. This sounds more like the system we have today.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:27 PM

34. Albeit true, the problem is treating this as a parable for modern society.

The solution settled upon by the pilgrims, instead of a system in which the harvest and the game were given to the community to distribute, was a system by which the harvest and the catch were retained by the people responsible for it. That work product was then taxed (by the church) to fulfill the collective needs of the community.

The initial experiment was communism, their solution was socialism.

In fact, the lazy people Bradford complained about were fine with working despite the fact that a large portion of it went to tithe the church.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #34)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:43 PM

56. Not sure if I would call their solution socialism...

Do you have a source/link for this... "That work product was then taxed (by the church) to fulfill the collective needs of the community."

and this..."a large portion of it went to tithe the church."

A tithe is voluntarily given... although under much religious/social pressure.

A tax is enforceable by law. I don't believe socialism gives one a choice over how much to contribute i.e. tax.

So what was it... a tithe or a tax? And what historical source do you have to support your claim that it was a "large portion"? .

Bradford's account doesn't describe "lazy people"... he describes reluctance to work by "young men, able and fit" due to the perception that "they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense." and men's wives who "deemed it a kind of slavery,".

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Response to True Earthling (Reply #56)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:06 PM

58. It was both a tithe and a tax

It was a tithe in that you gave (at least) a tenth of everything you had to the church.

It was a tax because the Pilgrims were theocrats, making the church also the government, and the penalty for not paying was to be kicked off your land to either starve to death or learn to forage quick.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:20 PM

37. The account is not correct. It demeans the Native americans who actually saved their white asses

 

The account is a total fiction, meant to soothe the maniac psyches of the average rethug. In fact, RUSH LIMBAUGH spouts this bit of nonsense EVERY FREAKIN' YEAR to push his capitalism over progressive tenets, even though Snopes has already debunked this nonsense (http://www.snopes.com/holidays/thanksgiving/beliefs.asp).

Word to the wise: Limbaugh should not be considered as a source of support for progressives, including this bit of fiction.

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Response to BanTheGOP (Reply #37)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:57 PM

53. Total fiction?

>The account is a total fiction, meant to soothe the maniac psyches of the average rethug. In fact, RUSH LIMBAUGH <

It's a historical document written hundreds of years before the republican party was formed.

>Snopes has already debunked this nonsense <

Nothing in your Snopes link even mentions this account.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:24 PM

60. They were Right Wing Theocrats

Running a Fascism-with-God colony.

Who were also wholly unprepared for their new life. Most -- even all -- would have died if not for the Indians. Whom they later betrayed.

Philbrick's book gives a very good mainstreams-accessible about the founding of the Colony by whom we call "Pilgrims."

They were certainly not Socialists, nor did they believe in what we call Socialist ideals.

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:57 PM

61. The Native Americans' experiment with communal property and socialism ended badly

When they were murdered for their resources by the forces of feudal and capitalist governments.

What's your point?

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:09 PM

63. My 11th great grandfather didn't come for socialism...he came with his family to make money

and to help his children do the same.

If it was a communist/socialist experiment in Massachusetts, that may be why he and 6 others left Lynn to establish the settlement of Southampton Long Island.

With respect to "making it" one would have to say he and they succeeded. They laid the foundation for one of America's greatest capitalist colonies.



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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 06:25 PM

66. I don't see socialism here. I see communism. n/t

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Response to True Earthling (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 06:31 PM

67. As the experiment with unfettered capitalism is ending badly right now.

nt

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