A Lesson in Socialism

The first permanent English settlement in the New World was Jamestown.  Jamestown suffered from some flawed thinking.  First, they settled in an area which seemed to be able to provide a good defense against both hostile indians and Spaniards (who had vowed to eradicate Protestants from the New World).  Unfortunately their settlement was near a low marsh area which was malaria infested, the water was contaminated, they managed to torque off the local indians and finally most of the colonists were either too lazy to work or too proud to do common labor.  This leads to and reveals the biggest problem the colony faced: the Common-Store System.

According to the colonies charter, each man was required to place in the fruit of his labor in the common storehouse.  Each man was also able to freely receive food and supplies according to his need.  The result was that industrious men ended up providing for the idle.  Many spent their days in idleness or searching for gold.  With everyone benefiting from the common storehouse but few contributing to it, the food supply was quickly depleted.

America’s first experiment with a form of socialism was a miserable failure.

1 thought on “A Lesson in Socialism

  1. Our experiment with capitalism is far from perfect, too… 🙁

    The trouble is that all these economic systems look so good on paper. In theory, if we could just find the perfect system, all our problems would go away, babies wouldn’t get sick, and grandparents would be loved and taken care of until a ripe old age. We would all do work we love and are good at and no one would go without.

    Then people get involved.

    Praise God for another way. For his Way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *