Sadly, it seems it has been here from day one, and failing from day one. Free RepublicWhy the Pilgrims Abandoned Communism) Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford. Bradford served as Governor of Plymouth Colony from 1620 to 1647 and chronicled in great detail everything that happened in the colony. By 1623, it was obvious the colony was barely producing enough corn to keep everyone alive. Fresh supplies from England were few and far between. Without some major change, the colony would face famine again. In his chronicle, Bradford described what was going wrong and how it was solved (pardon the King James English): All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they 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, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advise of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of the number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands 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 would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression. With weak crops and little hope of supply, the Pilgrims divided the parcels among the families and told them to grow their own food. They found that those who would pretend they couldnt work due to infirmity, weakness or inability (sound familiar?) gladly went to work in the fields. Corn production increased dramatically and famine was averted because communism was eliminated. Bradfords account doesnt end here; he goes on to describe why he believed the communal system failed. Understanding the reasons for the failure is just as important, if not more important, than learning about the failure itself. Governor Bradford wrote: The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Platos and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other mens wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter than the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labours, victuals, clothes, etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for mens 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. The communal system failed because it treated the older and wiser the same way as the young and brash. It failed because it rewarded the less productive as much as the more productive. It failed because members of the community found that they could do less and still get the same benefit. All of these problems arose in a very religious community in which gluttony and laziness were considered sins and drunkenness was rare. How much more would communism fail in a larger society where such problems are rampant! By returning to a system in which the older and wiser are respected, and by reorganizing so that ones benefit was directly tied to his production, the Pilgrims ensured the survival of their colony. Governor Bradford, however, ultimately attributes the failure of the common cause to something much deeper: JamestownWhen US tried Communism [ History of Jamestown: 1607 to 1611 ]) Phillip A. Bruce, a late 19th century US historian, wrote of the Jamestown immigrants, The settlers did not have even a modified interest in the soil . Everything produced by them went into the store, in which they had no proprietorship. The result as Bruce wrote would be what anyone who has any knowledge of human nature would expect, men, even the most energetic, refused to work.