Bill Lockwood: Socialists Are Really Digressives, Not Progressives

Socialists Are Really Digressives, Not Progressives “God’s system is not only productive, but is moral and right.”

by Bill Lockwood

Leftist miseducation during the past century has mislabeled “socialism” as “progressivism” to make it more palatable to consumers. In point of fact the Socialist Progressive Movement in American history, which textbooks date from about 1890 to 1920, radically expanded the size of government. This, we are told, that it might become “more efficient” in caring for the lives of citizens. This set our nation on a course toward totalitarianism in which some candidates for political office are even toying with limiting the size of families by government fiat. Ironically, socialism, which is the rage today in the Democrat Party, has dropped the “progressive” label. But it was never progressive at all–but a digression to the failed experiments of the past.

William Bradford was the first governor of the Plymouth Bay Colony, taking office in the beleaguered outpost in April, 1621. He had been a signatory of the Mayflower Compact a month before the Pilgrims landed in December, 1620.

Part of the text of that Compact reads,

Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and the Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honor of King and Country, a voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern parts of Virginia…solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation …

Though honoring God in their declaration, neither Bradford nor the rest of the Pilgrims came to a full realization of the ungodliness of a socialistic system until they tried it to a miserable failure.

As first set up, the Colony set up a system of rationing from a common storehouse to which they labored to contribute their produce from the field. But, as Henry Hazlitt describes it, “a vicious circle seemed to set in. The people complained that they were too weak from a want of food to tend the crops as they should.” After that, though deeply religious, “they took to stealing from one another.” Bradford observed that the general famine that resulted would necessarily continue under those conditions.

Captain John Smith had a similar experience in the Jamestown Colony of Virginia. After the socialistic system was in place, he observed, “When our people were fed out of the common store, and labored jointly together, glad was he that could slip from his labor, or slumber over his task, he cared not how.” Even the most “honest among them” cared little for the increase, “presuming that howsoever the harvest prospered, the general store must maintain them, …”

Complaints Harvested from Socialism

It was not long before the complaints began mounting in Plymouth. Bradford says in his Journal Of Plymouth Plantation,

For the young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice.

Injustice it was! And a failure as well. The problem was seeking to circumvent what God had ordered for the welfare of mankind: “If a man does not work, neither let him eat.” They further expressed their dissatisfaction: “And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it.”

Unjust. Slavery. Failure. Pretty well sums up our own complaints from the middle class who are now forcibly enrolled in America to serve the poor.

The Remedy

Bradford tells us how the Pilgrims lighted on the remedy. The colonists,

Began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length [in 1623], after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular [for himself and his family], and in that regard trust to themselves … And so assigned to every family a parcel of land …

The result of allowing God’s order of things to preside was remarkable.

This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before alleged weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

God’s system is not only productive, but is moral and right. To the extent that America has become a socialist nation of redistribution is the extent of our trouble and misery.

More to the point, however, is the fact that the Democrats do not represent progress by championing the Karl Marx philosophies of confiscation and redistribution—they represent digression. Whether by means of ObamaCare; Section 8 housing, food stamps, disability payments and a host of other handout programs–all of them are doomed not only to failure—but to make America miserable again. Real PROGRESS is moving ahead to freedom and unshackling the machinery of government regulation from the producers in our great nation.

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