It is Good Friday, the day He suffered for our redemption; bless His holy name. Tomorrow the Vigil, and Sunday, the Easter Rising.
I am behind schedule writing on other topics, but off-line discussions with others brought to my mind the need to talk about our Colonial beginnings, the religious fervor of the Colonists, the immediate worldly needs of the Colonists, and the hard, cold, merciless reality of living independently in this New World. It must have been similar to going to the moon.
The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth England in November 1620 for Virginia, but sighted the coast of Cape Cod in December. They spent some weeks exploring the area and finally settled on beginning their new colony in Plymouth Harbor. This posed some immediate legal problems for them, because their Patent, granted them from the Virginia Company, was based on a larger Charter between the Virginia Company and the Crown which did not address the area of Plymouth Harbor at all. In other words, the Patent was invalid where they landed. Time and provisions were limited, survival was at stake, and so land they must, and land they did.
The whole reason for the attempt to establish a colony was to evade religious persecution in England. About half of the Mayflower voyagers were Separatists who sought freedom to worship as they pleased; all sought liberty from harsh English law. Those who were not of the congregation of Separatists were a bit at odds with them, since they had not landed in the agreed territory of Virginia, and might seek a different form of “liberty” from the larger group, since the original agreement had already been violated.
This first fracture could have spelled the doom of the whole enterprise. It was seen to be imperative that they all stuck together through the hardships that were sure to come. The matter was settled on board the Mayflower with the signing of the Mayflower Compact; America’s first written law.
The Mayflower Compact.
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, Etc.
Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.
In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620
The Mayflower Compact was signed by all 41 adult males on board. It was considered by all to be a very serious legal instrument, and all knew, far better than men today, the meaning of the word covenant. They all willingly bound themselves to it, legally, morally and spiritually. In signing it, they did what they did not really want to do, which was to establish a sort of government, majoritarian in form, in order to prevent any future split and division of resources.
It was a hard life in a hard land. The natives were friendly enough, but struggling for survival themselves, and not able help much beyond invaluable advice. What food they had they needed; they could spare very little. The first winter saw about half of the settlers die from exposure, starvation and scurvy; yet they remained. None of them wanted to sail back to England. The next year, 1621, they raised a little corn and celebrated their first Thanksgiving in October.
The first set of rules agreed upon after the Mayflower Covenant was to share equally in work and in produce. Each was assigned a plot to till, and they all brought their produce to be portioned out equally. It was the same with livestock, milk, wild game, fish, fur and whatever the land and the sea would provide. Each worked according to his ability, each was rewarded according to his need; sound familiar? Karl Marx could have been in charge.
But it simply wasn’t working. They were still starving; they were still entirely too dependent upon re-supply from the meager provisions of increasingly rare ships. When it looked like the end, when everyone was lacking in strength and health and the whole enterprise was on the brink of disaster, Governor Bradford reluctantly abandoned the Communist-like rules. He told everyone to take his assigned plot of ground and plant and do whatever he could for his own household and stave off starvation as best he could, completely on his own. Bradford, and everyone, thought that the colony was finished.
Poof. Instant success. Immediately, with that one rule change, everyone began growing and harvesting more, bringing in more fish and game and fur. Famine turned to prosperity, virtually overnight. By 1627 they even paid off their debt to the Virginia Company and were free of debt. Now ships were more frequent, but not for re-supply, but rather to export fur and produce. Ships brought in new waves of immigrants eager to share in the opportunity, wealth and abundance of the new colony.
It was the same soil, before and after the rule change. It was the same forest, river, lake and sea; it was the same meadows and pastures. What changed? It’s really very simple.
A man naturally works harder and more cheerfully to benefit himself and his family than he does to benefit strangers or non-family members.
That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Here, in our earliest colonial history, we see a crystal-clear historical example of the success of free market capitalism and individual liberty over socialism and group dependency. It presents a classic example of the failure of socialism, and a classic example of the success of liberty, both at the same time. While man is very much a social being, he most certainly is not a herd animal. The inner sense of the right to personal ownership of private property - (Thou shalt not steal) – is a natural and normal inner sense, and to oppose that inner sense is to oppose human nature as well as the Law of God.
This is the holiest of Liturgical seasons. Tomorrow, Holy Saturday, we will dwell in silence on the meaning of the Tomb, and a world without Light. But then on Sunday, the Easter Rising will come, and Light, Truth, Life and Joy will again enter the world. Our first colonists willingly enslaved themselves to God and His Law, stuck to their word, lived it as covenant, and by the grace of God they were born anew into a new sense of worldly liberty and productive work, praising His holy name. May we do the same.
May you and yours enjoy a most blessed Easter.
Addendum: This presents an historically verifiable example of Capitalism improving the condition of man after the experience of Socialism. I challenge anyone to provide any historically verifiable example of Socialism improving the condition of man after the experience of Capitalism. (Note: Pre-Communist Russia was a rigid status-class society. Before Communism, Russia never historically experienced free market Capitalism on a national scale.)
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Entry
Date: Tue Aug 02 22:56:02 2011
I think that it is no fault of communism that the human being is fallible. Each man was not working to his ability when he was working to help the collective, but when he worked to only help himself and family he provided enough food. Communism works, man does not.
Date: Wed Aug 03 05:58:01 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
So Communism would make man infallible?
Who says man was “not working to his ability?” Some dictator who knows better? Why and how does he know better? Who determines what man’s ability is?
If the development of man’s ability is not a natural thing, then it must be a forced thing. Right? So, we should all shut up and get on the cattle car, and submit to proper “training” so that we might all become infallible.
So, if I am correctly following this, then Communism is natural, but man is not.
I see. (I think.)
Date: Wed Aug 03 12:06:37 2011
I'm sorry, I probably wasn't clear enough in my first post. Communism does not make man infallible, because man is a fallible creature. I should make it clear that I feel that many political and socio-economic strategies "work" (on paper) but many if not all fail in one way or another because man is fallible.
You say yourself that man works harder to benefit only himself and his family instead of helping his fellow man. In my eyes this is selfish, especially in a communist society because people will work less hard knowing that they will still get paid. In a perfect world, man would understand that it is not only for the good of their nation but the long-term personal good of their family to work hard regardless of the political or socioeconomic structure.
To me, man is fallible because he is selfish.
Date: Wed Aug 03 10:03:02 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
Permit me to apologize; I completely miss-interpreted you words. Sometimes my typing outruns my aging brain.
I agree that man is fallible, and that he is selfish, and greedy, and lustful, etc., etc., etc., but I believe he is all these things because he is fallen. Yet even in his fallen state, man is predominantly good. It is natural that a man’s first concern would be for his own welfare; at least until he takes a wife, when everything changes. Then, it is natural that a man’s first concern is for the welfare of his wife and his children, and he comes second. It is natural that a man has an affinity for and attraction to the extended family, and to neighbors. Expanding into the realm of relationships with strangers and foreigners involves the virtue of charity, which is held by Jews and Christians, and denied by atheists like Marx, who sought to destroy even the family, in favor of making everyone subservient only to the Party. Communism opposes nature itself.
The only exceptions in which a man does not naturally and purposely order his work to the special advantage of himself and his family are in the religious order, and in the military order.
Regarding your ideal to work hard regardless of the political or socioeconomic structure, there is another element to consider: liberty. If the political or socioeconomic structure does not allow for personal liberty – the ability to lawfully act in your own self interest – then all is lost. Even salvation depends upon liberty. If you are not free to decide between right and wrong, then, all is lost. Jews and Christians cannot work for evil and remain Jews and Christians. Nor can they deny God and remain Jews and Christians.
Man must be free. A social order must include liberty.
All we can do is the best we can do with what we’ve got to work with, AllWellAndGood. Perfection is not of this world, but the next.
Date: Thu Aug 04 18:06:30 2011
That is the most thoughtful argument I've heard on the benefits of Capitalism over Communism. Usually all I hear from its opposition is that Communism is "evil". The dictators and tyrants that have led communist nations have been evil, I'm sure that no one would call Stalin, Mao, or Castro a real humanitarian by any means. However this is the case with a communist dictatorship. I believe that in a "perfect world" (which you astutely asserted is impossible in the life we live currently) a communist republic would be the ideal form of communism should it be instated in a nation. I may have misrepresented myself unintentionally; I do not believe communism is the right economic strategy. However I do not believe capitalism, or socialism, or any form of economic or political strategy in past, present, or future times is the "ideal" way. This is because of man's fallibility.
In communism (which in a perfect world would work well) man is lazy because he knows he will always be paid well, the government uses the money gained from high taxes in places other than the most important things for their citizens (explaining why people with plenty of money would stand in lines 4 blocks long just to buy a loaf of bread in soviet Russia).
In Capitalism, man is selfish and once achieving the "American Dream" will stop at nothing to gain even more and more wealth, no matter who on the economic lower rungs they must step on to get there. Banks make purposefully confusing stipulations to trick the middle class and lower class out of money, possessions, and housing. Giant store chains like Wal-Mart demolish any possibility of any local small retail business from ever really gaining a foothold while treating their own employees like dirt. These factors have created an ever widening divide between the rich and poor. The top 1% of Americans control 42% of the wealth of the nation. This is what capitalism is in an imperfect world. It is a fantastic idea but is ruined by man's fallibility.
I suppose that this post was not meant to prove one way of thinking over the other, but to demonstrate that as long as there are evil/selfish/lazy people in the world, nothing will ever work as it should.
Date: Fri Aug 05 06:15:51 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
Communism is a strategy; Capitalism is not a strategy. Capitalism is natural; Communism is forced; it is an unnatural thing that must be maintained, sometimes brutally so. Adam Smith only described Capitalism, and defined it; his The Wealth of Nations was no manifesto, except in that it might have been a warning against trying to plan or control natural economies, to their injury or destruction.
Marx was a disciple of Machiavelli, and of Hegel. Marx’s Communist Manifesto is a carefully crafted recruitment aid to attract useful idiots and expendable agent provocateurs who would be of temporary use to get someone who is not in power into power – meaning, dictatorship.
See the Fatal False Premises page for all the educational falsehoods upon which Marxism is founded. See the World Revolution Returns page for a description of Machiavellian and Hegelian evil that infected Marx’s thought, and helped form the fraud of the deadly Communist Utopian Dream. See The Great Communist Lie page for the monstrous lie that has seriously infected the thought of Western man since publication of the Communist Manifesto.
Leftist education, Leftist journalism, Leftist politicians, Leftist falsified history all lead you to think of free man in the most negative light – to see his greed and avarice more than his charity and decency; to highlight his weaknesses and gloss over his natural goodness.
Individual liberty is absolutely required even for your own salvation. You cannot be dragged, kicking and screaming against your will, into Heaven, or into Hell. The Gospel has been preached to you. You will accept it, or you will reject it. You save yourself, or you damn yourself; either way, do not blame God, and do not blame religion. You must be able to exercise your own free will and make good decisions. When you stop doing that – when you stop thinking – you are no longer man, i.e., homo sapiens. You damn yourself to animalism, at the very least.
Recognize this, at least, AllWellAndGood: The Law of God is the basis for American civil law. His Commandments are the very reason, for instance, that such things as murder and robbery are against the law here.
What, exactly, should that basic foundation ever be replaced with?
Date: Sun Sep 23 16:15:33 2012
From: Learned by experience
Location: Perry, GA, USA
It seems that the two persons in the foregoing discussion agree but they continued to discuss why they agree. In my many years of existence, I have experienced the great depression, the economic rebounding of the years thereafter, and 38 years as an educator. I have firmly concluded that I have been blessed to live in a capitalistic free country. The Free Enterprise system is not perfect, but it is the best system we have experienced in the United States. Do a search on the web for "Socialization in Early America" and you will find several areas that tried it and they all failed. The evil, lazy, and greedy spoil any system, but we the people have more control when we are free and have the right to choose whom we do business with, whom we work for, and choose our own leaders. Research indicates that when we earn our way, we feel better about ourselves. When we do well, we share by giving help to those in need to get on "their feet", rather than taking from the social government warehouse. I know that some will disagree with my thoughts on the issue. This is what I was trained to do as a teacher.
Date: Sun Sep 23 18:44:45 2012
From: Vic Biorseth
Learned By Experience:
I think what Allwellandgood and I disagreed on was primarily a definition of the word selfish. To me, working in your own self-interest and profiting from your own industry is not selfish; expecting or demanding profit from someone else’s industry is selfish. Once we have been industrious enough to more than take care of our own and our family’s needs, Christian morality demands that we take care of the unfortunate.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
As part of the ongoing effort to upgrade this whole website, upgraded this webpage to the new BB 2.0 - SBI! 3.0 release and to make use of the new reusable code features.
An earlier phase of this major conversion corrupted or adversely affected some fonts, alignments, quotes and tables in the previously published webpages. Not to worry; this phase is converting them all, one by one. Eventually, every webpage on this site will have the same look and feel as this one.
LOVE this new release!
Date: Tue Oct 23 12:54:43 2012
Location: Calgary / Alberta / Canada
This seems like a 'no true Scotsman' sort of argument.
For any example, you can always find some disqualifier (e.g. precommunist Russia was ..., so there is *still* no true example of communism being better than capitalism).
I'm playing the devils advocate here, but are you certain it was capitalism that saved the day here?
What other rules were in that pact? Maybe there were rules dictating certain crops in certain quantities, or harvested at certain times of year in order to make bill payments.
I don't believe that any man, even under communism, would willingly watch his family starve. Are you sure this is a cut-and-dry example of people doing better under capitalism than communism? Or is it just an example of people doing better when they are told the end-goal and not micromanaged in how to get there.
Date: Tue Oct 23 20:07:32 2012
From: Vic Biorseth
Yes, I am certain. It was a natural thing.
It was Capitalism = The Free Market = Pursuit of Happiness = Private Property = Prospering from the Work of Your Own Hands = Enjoying the Fruits of Your Own Labor.
When it was fixed and rigid Communal-Effort and Communal Reward, if a given crop produced a couple of bushels of corn, a man might only get a few ears for his family. If he shot a rabbit, his family might not even get a morsel. If he got a deer, they might get pound or two of meat. If he caught a mess of fish, he might get to keep one.
On top of that, in every such group there will be those who out-produce most others, and there will be those who are either lazy, or just less productive for whatever reason. They will always eat, which means that those who produce the most must produce even more, and that is not good for morale.
As soon as a man could bring home a whole deer, or a whole crop, or a whole mess of fish, or mushrooms or whatever, everything changed, and they began to barter and trade; the one who was a better farmer traded some of his harvest for the meat that came from the better hunter, and so forth.
It’s a natural thing, Warren. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.
Date: Sat Sep 13 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
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Marx's Communist Manifesto was a masterpiece of deceitful rabble-rousing incitement to class warfare and revolution against the status quo. But it produced nothing of value to human kind, in the fields of economics, political arrangements, social science or anything else. This was just another evil man with a solid following of other evil men and hordes of convinced useful idiots.
The Marxism Pages: The Destruction of Western Civilization From Within. The Marxism Pages, on the Western Cultural transformation from Judeo-Christianity into Pure Materialism.
Another right-column gathering of material, this time refuting Marxist theory. Articles refuting Marxism are linked to in the right column of this webpage.
Refuting Marxism and sub-theories of Socialism and Communism, as Scientism. If Marxism represents any sort of true Scientific Theory then there must be a preponderance of evidences supporting it. Show us any of it.
Definition of Marxism: Total control of means of production, including workers. The definition of Marxism describes the social, economic and governmental philosophy of Karl Marx, co-author of the Communist Manifesto.
The intellectual elite embrace Marxism and reveal their own true stupidity. It is astounding that any philosophy so obviously fatally flawed as Marxism could ever have gained such wide support and alliance throughout the world.
Against the great Communist Lie; the old, current and newer forms. Our argument: The whole “Communist Dream” is a lie; the history of “Communist Revolution” is a lie; virtually everything about Communism is just a big elaborate flagrant categorical lie.
American Colonial Communism lasted less than 3 years; reality destroyed it. From the Mayflower Compact through an economic disaster of Socialism to Capitalistic Liberty, our first Colony triumphed.
Communist Manifesto; Democrat Party Platform: What’s the difference? The current American Democrat Party follows the Communist Manifesto almost exactly. Here it is.
Catholic Communism: Similarities between Church Hierarchy and Pure Bureaucracy. Mises said that Communism equals Bureaucracy; the Church is a bureaucracy, therefore we have Catholic Communism. True?
Marxism Socialism Communism – what’s the difference between them all? Marxism Socialism Communism are all mistakenly held to be different things, but they are one and the same.
Definition of Communism: Marx's theoretical classless utopian society. The Marxian definition of Communism involves the theoretical, perfect, classless society with common ownership of all economic "means of production."
The term Marxist defined: Marxism today has overtaken many earlier terms. Re the term Marxist defined in contemporary usage. The term Liberal doesn’t mean what it used to mean either.
It’s Liberty versus Marxism and Islam, which cannot coexist with Liberty. Liberty versus Marxism and Islam: the epic contest of this historic era.
Can we outlaw Marxism in the USA and still be a free thinking society? I say we can and should outlaw any ideology that seeks the elimination of Constitutional America.
The Marxism of Obama: Marching America into another Socialist dictatorship. Describing the self-documented Marxism of Obama which is still not widely recognized among the American citizenry. Obama “change” is Socialism, pure and simple.
Marxist Fundamentals clearly describes the threat to America that we now face. A timely and timeless submission by Professor Libor Brom; Marxist Fundamentals describes the most successful destroyer of liberty since 1776.
Warning all bourgeoisie: Obama will destroy the middle class. Take fair warning all bourgeoisie, i.e., members of our vast middle class: the Marxists despise you and intend to conquer you once and for all.
On Evil and Nonsense: Look closely at Nonsense, and find Evil at its root. Evil and Nonsense: deny evil and you deny right vs. wrong; which is to deny common sense, which is to invoke nonsense.
Three fatal oversights of the top conservative cognizanti: Glenn, Rush and Sean. Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity are on the right track, but just nibbling around the edges of who the enemy is.
In support of American Nationalism and American Patriotism. American Nationalism and American Patriotism have been demonized long enough.
Are our federal bureaucracies all malignant outgrowths of Marxism? Any extra-Constitutional government agency is likely to be a malignant outgrowth of Marxism.
Leftist Useful Idiocy of Marxism: a time bomb planted deeply in Western Culture. Leftist Useful Idiocy idealizes impossible man-made utopian perfection at the expense of the Western culture sense of telling right from wrong.
Progressive-America: From Constitutional Republic into Democratic Socialism. Progressive America aims at ending the rule of subsidiarity and ending individual liberty.
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