this essay presents some ways at looking at our current situation with a bit of historical perspective;
Exactly 400 years ago, 102 Pilgrims were staring down what promised to be a brutal winter, after first coming to shore, and setting up a tiny village in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The industrious, God-fearing Pilgrims decided to pull together and pool their resources and efforts to better survive winter. They created a commune, and elected a Governor to call the shots.
By the spring of 1621, half of the Pilgrims had died from starvation, disease, and exposure.
One of the Pilgrims, William Bradford, explained in his journal that communal living “was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.”
Young single men found it unjust that they had to do all the hard work, but received no more reward for it. And wives “deemed it a kind of slavery” to be forced to do chores for men besides their husbands.
Clearly, this little experiment in collectivizing society had failed. So they reversed course, and tried something new; every man for himself.
This might sound harsh, or even counterproductive. But on the contrary, Bradford explained:
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… The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.
400 years later, it seems leaders have forgotten the lesson.