The Pilgrim’s Failed Experiment with Socialism

The Freedom Post | Nov. 25, 2009

With the United States under direct assault from the evils of Socialism (or other forms of “Collectivism” including: Communism, or Fascism…pick your tyranny), and with Thanksgiving Day upon us, it’s timely, appropriate, and necessary to visit the nation’s very first attempt with Socialism, nearly four centuries ago.
Modern day promotion of these evils are communicated and shielded using code phrases such as “The Common Good”, Equality, Fairness, Justice, Community (as in the nonexistent “World Community”), and “spreading the wealth around”. All promises of achieving these unachievable ideals come at the cost of personal freedom and individual rights.

Americans, especially politicians, educators, and the media, ignore the ultimate failure of such forms of tyranny, and there’s no better example of this than our nation’s first experiment with Socialism.

The history you’re about to read has been largely ignored, probably purposely, by the vast majority of our “government-run” educational institutions, that have the bias toward furthering their vision of a society of, by, and for the government.

In 1620, a group of English Puritans left Great Britain and sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower. Not only were they breaking away from what they considered religious persecution, but they were leaving the Old World that had been, in their viewpoint, materialistic, selfish, greedy and unprincipled.

Their vision of the New World, was to build a society constructed on a new foundation of communal sharing and social altruism. Their aim was based on the Communism of Plato’s Republic, in which there would be no private property and all work, and the harvest thereof, would be shared in common.

The outcome of this experiment with “Commune-ism” is documented in the diary of William Bradford, the Governor and head of the colony. The results of this first “collective” were disastrous and led to famine and starvation, both physically and spiritually:

“For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then 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 labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant 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 husbands brook it.”

“The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst the Godly and sober men, may well convince of the vanity and conceit of Plato’s and other ancients; — that the taking away of property, and bringing into a common wealth, 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 confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.”

Having had enough of this failed system, and to avoid further devastation, another system was tried, free enterprise, or “Capitalism”. Instead of working for the “common good”, each citizen was responsible for their own survival, had private property, and enjoyed the fruit of their individual labor: The product of this experiment was also written in Bradford’s diaries:

“And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end . . . This had a very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then 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 a ledge weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.”

“By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. And the effect of their planting was well seen, for all had, one way or other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.”

The twisted ideology progressives would have you believe is that Socialistic systems are compassionate. Nothing could be further from the truth. The very ideals that Socialists profess are ironically only obtained through Capitalism and free enterprise, as the pilgrims learned. The prosperity was so bountiful that they gladly, voluntarily, shared excess.

The hard lesson that they learned, even though others have not, was that “Commune-ism,” Socialism, and other forms of collectivism, “altruism,” and Utopia are antithetical with the human nature and spirit. It results in shortages, poverty, resentment, and slavery. How long will we ignore human nature and history, ignorantly and naively repeating the same mistakes of the past?

Barack Obama’s desire to “spread the wealth” (yours, not his) and for government to plan, regulate and oversee every area of our lives, is not “hope” or “change”. It is as ancient as the illusory delusion in Plato’s Republic. Suckers who voted for, and still support this dangerous, America-hating Marxist, are putting the country in danger of being plagued by the same outcomes that the Pilgrims were inflicted with.

The Pilgrims learned that when freedom thrives, so does hard work, productivity, innovation, and prosperity. Communism, along with its twin tyrannical sisters of Socialism and Fascism, leads to precisely the opposite.

We have the moral duty to fight sleazy, self-serving, misguided, power-hungry, and corrupt politicians that are hell-bent on erasing our freedom in exchange for the promise of a fairy-tale that only exists in the heads of the damnable parasites who seek to rule us.

This Thanksgiving, let us remember the first and thank God for the freedoms we have, the lessons we’ve learned, the heritage we’ve been given, and the battle we’re in with those who seek to take them away.

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2 thoughts on “The Pilgrim’s Failed Experiment with Socialism”

  1. The description of the pilgrim’s reactions, which caused the failure,
    merely shows they were greedy, prideful and full of sins of the
    flesh. They could not share like Christians because they were
    too entrenched in personal ambition and political separatism that
    brought them there in the first place.
    It was not a failed experiment in socialism. It was a failure to act
    like the first Christians in Jerusalem. And the reason that those
    early Christians were later on the recipients of charity from the
    other churches via St. Paul, was not because “socialism” doesn’t
    work, but because of a natural (or divine judgement on others)
    situation that put everyone in trouble, in the midst of which
    Christian love preserved fellow Christians and those affected or
    helped by them.

    Capitalism in the absolute unregulated sense is usually combined
    with fantasies of imperialism by a entrepreneurial conqueror,
    and further was almost unknown in ancient times. There was
    always some government involvement, some rules as to how to
    do things.

    The pilgrims just weren’t all that Christian. By the way, socialism
    is not sharing. It is the ownership and control of the means of
    production by the working class – in practice administered by
    power hungry sorts who claim to represent them. Nonetheless,
    the initial transition from planned to unplanned economy in
    Russia was disastrous, with meat and other food no longer
    directed properly being over present some places and absent
    elsewhere (sometimes due to dumping), and the only reason
    people didn’t freeze outdoors, is because no one owned their
    homes to kick them out! Non payment of taxes or mortgages
    wasn’t an issue.

    I don’t favor Marxism by any means. But Marx’s atheism was
    an anomaly in the history of “socialist” experimental thinkers,
    and he seems to have been motivated entirely by personal

  2. Sorry Justina, but your definition of “capitalism” is wrong. You mixed all sorts of concepts in there are incorrectly said that it was “almost unknown in ancient times.” That is absolutely wrong.

    Here is a brief description of what capitalism (free market economics) is and how it operates:

    What is Capitalism and Money
    The concept known as “capitalism” simply explains the relationship of voluntary exchanges of value for value between free individuals. It’s a word that describes how free human beings voluntarily interact with one another to exchange value (usually in the form of money in return for goods or services) in order to be able to live (food, clothing, and housing) and how they invest the excess value they have earned to produce, create, and gain more value. Capitalism, is value and morally neutral.

    Capitalism also encompasses the concept that any value (”capital”) that is placed at “risk” in a new business or invested in a new venture should generate some additional value (”return”) in exchange for the additional risk that an individual takes on. Capital can be in the form of money or other assets.

    Money is simply a way to standardize the measurement of value and provide a common method of the exchange of value in transactions between individuals. Like capitalism, money is also value and morally neutral. As the saying goes “the love of money” for money’s sake (greed) is the “root of all evil”, not money itself.


    All societies, in order to prosper, grow, and take care of its citizens must create new value to sustain its economy and support an expanding population. Common sense and experience dictate that there are only three (3) possible ways for anyone in life to have, create, or obtain value (monetary or economic) or acquire any assets (property) to be able to live or sustain oneself or one’s family:

    (1) You ethically earn it by working and providing value to your employer, investing in other people’s ventures, risking it in a new business to provide new value to others via a service or product, or by inventing, creating, or discovering something new and original, that is useful (device, process, cure) or pleasing (literature, music, art) to others. This is known as ethical capitalism, which I’ll simply call “capitalism” going forward.

    (2) You appropriate it from others, or someone else (person, institution, or government) appropriates it on your behalf. Communism, socialism, the US government (federal, state, and local), and criminals practice this approach. This choice is always coercive, but legal in some cases (taxes) and illegal in others (criminality).

    (3) Someone voluntarily gives it to you, through a gift, a will, a trust, or a charity donation. Note however, that in order for someone (individual, government, church, institution, etc.) to have any value (money or assets) to give, they must first attain it by choice #1 or #2 above. No other source for the donation exists.

    Inherent in option #1 is also the absolute right of individuals and organizations to have and own property (money, assets, etc.) that is exclusively theirs and the right to dispose of such property as they see fit without interference from anyone else.

    The only fair, ethical, and truly voluntary model of creating and obtaining value, based fully on freedom and the greatest respect for the individual, is option #1. Choice #3 is a close second, but it still depends on first having acquired value ethically via option #1.

    I did not include under choice #1 the unethical, lying, criminal, or abusive individuals, organizations, and enterprises that do not practice ethical capitalism, earn millions or billions by defrauding customers, abusing employees, or cheating investors, and eventually wind up destroying the long-term value of their businesses. Such conduct is not representative of true capitalism and those who practice it have more in common with feudal lords and totalitarian dictators.


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