The Pilgrims: Communists! (But not for long.)
It’s one of the ironies of American history that when the Pilgrims first arrived at Plymouth rock they promptly set about creating a communist society. Of course, they were soon starving to death.
Among Bradford’s many insights it’s amazing that he saw so clearly how collectivism failed not only as an economic system but that even among godly men “it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them.” And it shocks me to my core when he writes that to make the collectivist system work would have required “great tyranny and oppression.” Can you imagine how much pain the twentieth century could have avoided if Bradford’s insights been more widely recognized?