Thanksgiving Day Lesson: Socialism Never Works

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From  Of Plymouth Plantation, by Governor William Bradford:

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.

6 Responses to Thanksgiving Day Lesson: Socialism Never Works

  • Every human relationship without God breeds contempt. The individual forms the community; the community must provide for the individual. Unless the community provides for the individual, the community will become a prison. The acknowledgement of property rights was and is a public acknowledgement of fundamental human rights.

  • Someone seems to have conveniently forgotten that the central tenet of Jesus’s teachings were socialistic.

  • Someone seems to be unable to read the Gospels without red colored specs. They have about as much to do with socialism as they do with interior design. Holding goods in common was a stupidity that some of the early Christians came up with on their own and abandoned, outside of monasteries, quite quickly because it didn’t work, as it always does not work. Saint Paul and his admonition that those who do not work should not eat is an indication just how quickly the experiment in common goods came to a screeching end.

    Pope Leo XIII in his great encyclical against socialism put paid to the attempt by socialists to appropriate Christ for their cause:

    “For, indeed, although the socialists, stealing the very Gospel itself with a view to deceive more easily the unwary, have been accustomed to distort it so as to suit their own purposes, nevertheless so great is the difference between their depraved teachings and the most pure doctrine of Christ that none greater could exist: “for what participation hath justice with injustice or what fellowship hath light with darkness?”7 Their habit, as we have intimated, is always to maintain that nature has made all men equal, and that, therefore, neither honor nor respect is due to majesty, nor obedience to laws, unless, perhaps, to those sanctioned by their own good pleasure. But, on the contrary, in accordance with the teachings of the Gospel, the equality of men consists in this: that all, having inherited the same nature, are called to the same most high dignity of the sons of God, and that, as one and the same end is set before all, each one is to be judged by the same law and will receive punishment or reward according to his deserts. The inequality of rights and of power proceeds from the very Author of nature, “from whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named.”8 But the minds of princes and their subjects are, according to Catholic doctrine and precepts, bound up one with the other in such a manner, by mutual duties and rights, that the thirst for power is restrained and the rational ground of obedience made easy, firm, and noble.”

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13APOST.HTM

  • Socialism cannot work. Socialism abandons the dignity of the human person who constitutes government and worships the herd, the group, the government. Government so distorted cannot function as servant of the people as it imposes its own agenda to survive without its constituents.

  • “Someone seems to be unable to read the Gospels without red colored specs. They have about as much to do with socialism as they do with interior design.”
    The dignity of the person invokes the virtue of charity. Involuntary charity, that virtue defined by someone else, denies free will, the dignity of the sovereign person and is extortion.

  • No! I am Spartacus!

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