“Adam Smith at Plymouth Rock: When the pilgrims came to Plymouth Rock in 1620, they tried what they called “farming in common.” They farmed the land together as a community and shared the food equally. This might sound good in theory, but it was a complete failure…

…Those people who worked hard resented those who didn’t.  There was a lot of anger over this, and after three winters of under-production, more than half the original 101 pilgrims were dead, mostly as a result of malnutrition.
After three years of near-starvation and the loss of half the colony, a new experiment was tried. The governor of the colony, William Bradford, had come to suspect that the problem was the absence of private property.  In his now-famous passage on property rights in Of Plymouth Plantation (page 120), Bradford wrote of how he “… assigned to every family a parcel of land, for (their) present use.  This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, and much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means.” Bradford wrote that those who believed in communal property were deluding themselves into thinking they were “wiser than God.”  (Doesn’t that sound like Hayek’s concept of the “fatal conceit”?)  He drew up a map and gave each family a plot of land to call its own. Production increased by a factor of five the first year.  As Bradford wrote, “Each family, attempting to better its standing in the community, increased the hours worked on each plot.”The original experiment at Plymouth Colony was communism at its purest form, and centuries later, musician Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention said it best. “Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.”How perfect that the very foundation of America was a free market economy! And this was, amazingly, 150 years before Adam Smith wrote about how the greater good results from individuals pursuing their own personal interests. Left to right are Frank Zappa, Adam Smith, Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford, and Karl Marx.  And how strange that the guy on the left knew more about human nature than the guy on the right.”, November 22, 2015, Excerpt from Mortgage Industry Newsletter

Posted on November 24, 2015, in Postings. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. A great story that we should read more often…!

    Mark Nelson 3256 Sitio Tortuga Carlsbad, CA 92009 760.473.7558 mnelson.doit@gmail.com

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