Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > American History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

American History American History Forum - United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America


Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old November 22nd, 2012, 02:37 AM   #1
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: USA
Posts: 4,015
Thanksgiving for the Pilgrims, proof that Marxism doesn't work?


Think back to the story of the Pilgrims. They had entered into a contract in which there was no private property, everything went into a common fund with everyone owning one share. In no time, they were starving. Nobody had any incentive to work because there was nothing to gain in some people's minds. They could only beg for food from the Indians.

Could this be seen as a sign that income redistribution as a part of socialism, communism, collectivism, etc. is something to be avoided? Is the story of Thanksgiving really a story about the rejection of communism, a rejection that has been a part of the fabric of America?
Virgil is offline  
Remove Ads
Old November 22nd, 2012, 03:49 AM   #2
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: USA
Posts: 4,015

I do enjoy this quote from the following article:

"The communal system failed because it treated the older and wiser the same way as the young and brash. It failed because it rewarded the less productive as much as the more productive. It failed because members of the community found that they could do less and still get the same benefit. All of these problems arose in a very religious community in which gluttony and laziness were considered sins and drunkenness was rare. How much more would communism fail in a larger society where such problems are rampant! By returning to a system in which the older and wiser are respected, and by reorganizing so that one’s benefit was directly tied to his production, the Pilgrims ensured the survival of their colony."

Why the Pilgrims Abandoned Communism
Virgil is offline  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 03:49 AM   #3

Yankee's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Mar 2012
From: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 567

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
Think back to the story of the Pilgrims. They had entered into a contract in which there was no private property, everything went into a common fund with everyone owning one share. In no time, they were starving. Nobody had any incentive to work because there was nothing to gain in some people's minds. They could only beg for food from the Indians.

Could this be seen as a sign that income redistribution as a part of socialism, communism, collectivism, etc. is something to be avoided? Is the story of Thanksgiving really a story about the rejection of communism, a rejection that has been a part of the fabric of America?
One of many signs that it doesn't work.
Yankee is offline  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 03:56 AM   #4
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: USA
Posts: 4,015

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee View Post
One of many signs that it doesn't work.
That is what I find puzzling on the issue of communism and income redistribution. There is never sufficient "proof" that it doesn't work, it is becoming more popular than ever. What did our forefathers do wrong that allows this myth to continue, the myth that a meritocracy is wrong, but a socialist system is admirable?
Virgil is offline  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 04:00 AM   #5

Yankee's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Mar 2012
From: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 567

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
That is what I find puzzling on the issue of communism and income redistribution. There is never sufficient "proof" that it doesn't work, it is becoming more popular than ever. What did our forefathers do wrong that allows this myth to continue, the myth that a meritocracy is wrong, but a socialist system is admirable?
I don't think they did anything wrong in this aspect, but man will always find a way to ruin a good thing. It's only going to get worse for sometime, imho. Once it sets in the first thing communists do is eliminate real voting. So people will be locked in even though they will have changed their mind. Ugly times ahead methinks.
Yankee is offline  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 04:12 AM   #6
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: USA
Posts: 4,015

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee View Post
I don't think they did anything wrong in this aspect, but man will always find a way to ruin a good thing. It's only going to get worse for sometime, imho. Once it sets in the first thing communists do is eliminate real voting. So people will be locked in even though they will have changed their mind. Ugly times ahead methinks.
I am afraid you are right about that.
Virgil is offline  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 05:19 AM   #7

JimR-OCDS's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Nov 2009
From: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,287

Actually your history isn't quite accurate on the subject.

For one, there were two groups of people who arrived on the Mayflower back in 1620. The Religious Sect of Christian Separatists, which only numbered 53 and the others were merchant adventurers.

The Separatists did in fact work for the common good and did well at it, even back in Holland, where they had fled prior to coming to the New World.

The merchant adventurers were resistant to the Separatists rules and regulations based on religion and they quickly moved out of Plymouth Colony and to the north in the area which is now Boston.

As far as starving goes, they were down on food when they hit the coast of the New World, but once on land, thanks to robbing an Native American grain store, and the abundance of fish and game, they were able to sustain for the next year.

However, they had to work together to do this. The Merchant adventurers weren't so efficient and yes, some lived off the labors of others.

Communism works only in a group of people who share the same ideology. As soon as some people follow an agenda outside of the common good, and try to exploit the others, it falls apart.

It's why communism works well in monasteries and convents, because those who don't follow the ideology, will be asked to leave.

Jim
JimR-OCDS is offline  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 05:35 AM   #8
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: USA
Posts: 4,015

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS View Post
Actually your history isn't quite accurate on the subject.

For one, there were two groups of people who arrived on the Mayflower back in 1620. The Religious Sect of Christian Separatists, which only numbered 53 and the others were merchant adventurers.

The Separatists did in fact work for the common good and did well at it, even back in Holland, where they had fled prior to coming to the New World.

The merchant adventurers were resistant to the Separatists rules and regulations based on religion and they quickly moved out of Plymouth Colony and to the north in the area which is now Boston.

As far as starving goes, they were down on food when they hit the coast of the New World, but once on land, thanks to robbing an Native American grain store, and the abundance of fish and game, they were able to sustain for the next year.

However, they had to work together to do this. The Merchant adventurers weren't so efficient and yes, some lived off the labors of others.

Communism works only in a group of people who share the same ideology. As soon as some people follow an agenda outside of the common good, and try to exploit the others, it falls apart.

It's why communism works well in monasteries and convents, because those who don't follow the ideology, will be asked to leave.

Jim
Thank you Jim. Are you saying that it was only the non-puritan type pilgrims that did not carry their weight, but the religious people did?
Virgil is offline  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 05:46 AM   #9

Sankari's Avatar
What we have, we hold
 
Joined: Mar 2011
From: 6th Century Constantinople
Posts: 3,336
Blog Entries: 1
Arrow


Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
Is the story of Thanksgiving really a story about the rejection of communism, a rejection that has been a part of the fabric of America?
Communism, socialism and Marxism didn't even exist, so it cannot possibly be a story about the rejection of communism.

It's worth noting that the earliest Christians shared all things in common, yet we never read of them starving. In Acts 2:42, 44-47 we read:

Quote:
They were devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer... All who believed were together and held everything in common, and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need.

Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, praising God and having the good will of all the people...
In fact, Julian the Apostate (a pagan Roman emperor) noted that the Christian way of life was so successful that they were able to support pagans and Jews in addition to their own people:

Quote:
The religion of the Greeks does not yet prosper as I would wish, on account of those who profess it. But the gifts of the gods are great and splendid, better than any prayer or any hope . . . Indeed, a little while ago no one would have dared even to pray for a such change, and so complete a one in so short a space of time.

Why then do we think that this is sufficient and do not observe how the kindness of Christians to strangers, their care for the burial of their dead, and the sobriety of their lifestyle has done the most to advance their cause? Each of these things, I think, ought really to be practised by us . . .

For it is disgraceful when no Jew is a beggar and the impious Galileans support our poor in addition to their own; everyone is able to see that our [fellow pagans] are in want of aid from us.
Letter to Arsacius.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
That is what I find puzzling on the issue of communism and income redistribution. There is never sufficient "proof" that it doesn't work, it is becoming more popular than ever.
No, it is not becoming more popular than ever. Incidentally, welfare is not 'wealth redistribution' as defined by Communism. In its strictest sense (if you want to be pedantic) any form of taxation is 'wealth redistribution', yet taxation is an essential element of any democratic capitalist society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS View Post
Communism works only in a group of people who share the same ideology. As soon as some people follow an agenda outside of the common good, and try to exploit the others, it falls apart.

It's why communism works well in monasteries and convents, because those who don't follow the ideology, will be asked to leave.
Well said Jim. Communism is totally unworkable as a system of government.

Last edited by Sankari; November 22nd, 2012 at 05:51 AM.
Sankari is offline  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 05:48 AM   #10

JimR-OCDS's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Nov 2009
From: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,287

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
Thank you Jim. Are you saying that it was only the non-puritan type pilgrims that did not carry their weight, but the religious people did?
Thats correct.

The Separatists had lived for 10 years in Holland as commune. Their religious beliefs drove them to live for the common good.

In fact, before the disembarked from the Mayflower, they feared compromising their religious beliefs with the merchant adventurers, and the merchant adventurers feared having to live according to the religious beliefs of the Separatists. So, on board the Mayflower, they drew up a document called the Mayflower Compact. This put control mostly into the hands of the Separatists, but there was some compromise on their part as well. However, the governor of what became Plymouth Colony, had the say on what went on in the colony. It's what drove many of the merchant adventurers out to find their own little settlements north of Plymouth Plantation.

The one thing the Separatist did not want was the arrival of more settlers from England. For it was the English that the Separatist fled from by coming to the new world. As a result, Plymouth Plantation became it's only little colony, that eventually was dwarfed by the settlements around it. Also, they did not have a good sea port as the Boston area did, so in time, they became economically insignificant.

Jim
JimR-OCDS is offline  
Closed Thread

  Historum > World History Forum > American History

Tags
marxism, pilgrims, proof, thanksgiving, work


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Jamestown, Pilgrims and the American Experience rmpalange American History 5 August 5th, 2011 06:10 PM
Indians respond differently to the Pilgrims' arrival Nick Speculative History 33 November 27th, 2009 12:51 AM
Marxism Commander Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 9 December 15th, 2007 12:07 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.