The upheaval in our society, the blatant calls for socialism, the destruction of the nuclear family, and the call to abolish the Judaeo-Christian foundation of our constitution require The Center for Garden State Families to continue our series "Worldview Matters."
The Pilgrim Experiment in Collectivism
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because thou has rejected knowledge, I will reject thee."
Hosea 4:6 (KJV)
“The society we have described can never grow into a reality or see the light of day, and there will be no end to the troubles of states, or indeed, of humanity itself, till philosophers become rulers in this world, or till those, we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.”
Plato – The Republic “The philosopher whose dealings
are with divine order himself acquires
the characteristics of order and divinity.”
Plato – The Republic
The Center for Garden State Families would like to continue our series on Worldview. This article will see how a prevailing worldview and its influence nearly stopped the progress of freedom and liberty based on private property ownership. To demonstrate this, we must go back in time to the United States of America’s formative years. This November 11th, 2020, marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower reaching the shores of Plymouth. William Bradford, Governor of the Colony, said, “As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation.” The journey of the Mayflower began in England in July of 1620. However, because her sister ship the Speedwell was unseaworthy, the Mayflower did not formally set sail for Virginia until September 6th, 1620.
They were headed to Jamestown, Virginia, which was a colony from 1609 to 1610. Sadly, this colony came under significant disease and starvation. The Mayflower, although heading for Jamestown, was blown off course and landed in Cape Cod on November 11th, 1620. A few weeks later, they sailed up the coast to Plymouth and started to build their colony. Of 102 passengers who embarked on this voyage of freedom within a few months, 51 of these courageous God-fearing souls had died.
Today we call these settlers the “Pilgrims”; however, they did not get that name until 1669. These people were English Puritan Separatists who were fleeing religious persecution under King James I of England. These Puritans were escaping the age-old conflict of man-made government and rulership. They were escaping kings’ rule whereby the government was a counterfeit god demanding itself to be worshipped with a Church like reverence instead of the one true living God. We know that the idea of man playing God goes back to the Garden of Eden. The rule of certain people over others is found in the Worldview and influence of Plato and his work called The Republic. We will learn that Plato was the one whose work would influence the idea of the Rule of Kings and communal living (Socialism). This philosophy influenced the Mayflower voyage investors who would seek a return on their investment through a collective structure or, as William Bradford called it, the commons.
Before Karl Marx, there was Plato, who believed in the idea of Central Planning over the masses. In Plato’s The Republic, there would be two classes of people those who govern and those who are governed. He also felt that rulers must beget rulers, which essentially was a form of selective breeding. Furthermore, Plato advocated that the State must own property and that all production, labor, raw materials, and finance should be nationalized. Plato in The Republic writes, “Both the community of property and the community of families, as I am saying, tend to make them more truly guardians; they will not tear the city in pieces by differing about ‘mine’ and ‘not mine;’ each man dragging any acquisition which he has made into a separate house of his own, where he has a separate wife and children and private pleasures and pains; but all will be affected as far as may be by the same pleasures and pains because they are all of one opinion about what is near and dear to them, and therefore they all tend towards a common end.”
Plato in The Republic developed the idea of a utopian city-state ruled by a Philosopher King. Also, the word utopia means an imagined place or state where everything is perfect. Therefore, we can surmise that since we live in a fractured creation with fallen human beings alienated from God, the real definition of utopia is no place on earth. It is a fantasy that leads to tyranny when individuals or groups feel the need to rule over others to create a perceived paradise from their own depraved minds. This utopia is for themselves, while others are deemed irrelevant and need to be contained and controlled through private property confiscation.
Many have contended that the Puritans who landed in Plymouth in 1620 were exploited by the “Investors” of the day like the failed colony in Jamestown before them that ended in disease and starvation. However, these “Investors” could be seen as modern-day Venture Capitalists taking a risk and even more so after Jamestown’s failure. Because these were investors, they were seeking a return on their investment. To do this, they structured the colony in the form of shared ownership. The terms of the agreement were that everything at the end of seven years would be equally divided between the investors and the colonists. Therefore, this structure would secure their investment because the colonists were 3,000 miles away with no oversight.
In essence, it was not the “greedy capitalists” who exploited the Pilgrims but a socialist planned economy that nearly led to the entire colony’s starvation. Herein lies the hazard of removing private property ownership from any economic system. It should also be noted that the people who came to Plymouth were Godly men and women. Under the heavy yoke of a communal structure, the colony witnessed a moral, spiritual, and societal collapse.
William Bradford wrote the following; “Community of property was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment which would have been to the general benefit.” “For young men who were most able and fit for service objected to being forced to spend their time and strength working for other men’s wives and children, without any recompense.”
“The strong man or the resourceful man had no more share of food, clothes, etc., than the weak man who was not able to do a quarter the other could. This was thought injustice.” “The aged and graver men, who were ranked and equalized in labor, food, clothes, etc., with the humbler and younger ones, thought it some indignity and disrespect to them.” “As for men’s wives who were obliged to do service for other men, such as cooking, washing their clothes, etc., they considered it a kind of slavery, and many husbands would not brook it.”
William Bradford - Mayflower Colony
Also, William Bradford noted that there was envy, strife, and thievery, especially since the planted crops were beginning to fail due to the collective structure they were living under. As we can see, a socialist planned economy leads to confusion, discontent, reduced employment, envy, strife, thievery, injustice, indignity, disrespect, lack of incentive, the destruction of individual liberty, near starvation, and a state-run program of slavery.
The Pilgrims were enslaved to an economic structure based on the worldview of investors influenced by Plato. Plato was the original Central Planner and Philosopher King, who was born an Aristocrat whose very birthright entitled him to rule the masses of those who needed to be governed by his self-professed divinity. By Plato’s own words, he said, “The philosopher whose dealings are with divine order himself acquires the characteristics of order and divinity.”
Man has always desired to be like God, subjecting others to their reprobate lusts of power and control even under the guise of a utopian world that does not exist. Only God’s intended economic system built on private property can unleash the invisible hand of commerce to liberate an individual under God’s Authority.
As flawed as Capitalism may seem to be, it is only flawed due to man’s fallen sin nature and alienation from God. However, it maintains the heart of private property rights that guarantees freedom and liberty despite man’s inherent flaws. In our next article, we will reveal what the real celebration of Thanksgiving was all about. “The failure of that experiment of communal service, which was tried for several years, and by good and honest men, proves the emptiness of the theory of Plato and other ancients, applauded by some of later times, -that the taking away of private property, and the possession of it in community, by a commonwealth, would make a state happy and flourishing; as if they are wiser than God.”
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