Reply To: Communism vs. Socialism?


By the by, on this Thanksgiving day it is appropriate to point out that experiments in communism – at least of the pre-Marxist kind – really are “as American as apple pie.”

To that end it’s worth checking out this book on the Plymouth colony, both the section on p.120 where the experiment was ended and an experiment with private property and freedom of exchange begun, and preceding sections. The “common course and condition” was an attempt at communism; goods weren’t owned by a State but were held in common (“several property,” collective ownership – communal ownership). Here is a FEE article summarizing the episode and here is a Forbes article. If only today’s statists & communalists “had the humility to learn from their initial mistakes and embrace freedom.”

There’s also this 1875 book on Communistic Societies in the United States, including a chapter on “New Harmony,” an experiment in Owenite communism.