Skip to comments.Where Communism Works in America
Posted on 09/22/2003 9:06:51 PM PDT by Dan Evans
Most of us know of the Amish. The Amish were made famous by the film "Witness", but a lesser known group, Hutterites, came to mind after a recent post about Communism in colonial times.
The Amish, Mennonites and Hutterites are Anabaptists. The reason they are called Anabaptists is something to think about because it reveals something about their character. Although they are devout Christians, they do not believe in baptizing children because children do not have the wisdom to decide something as serious as a religious conviction. Baptism is done much later in life with the consent of the individual.
Anabaptists have a sense of community that is truly breathtaking. You probably have seen how the Amish can build a barn in a day. Recently I read about an Amish farm home that burned down. These homes are huge because they have about nine kids per family. But about a hundred or so neighbors got together and rebuilt it in about three days. They are, apparently, not union workers. The Amish don't believe in health insurance but doctors love them because they always pay in cash. How do they do this when they have a family income of about $12,000? The neighbors are the insurance policy. If they can't scrape up enough cash from community donations they will sell their farm.
But this isn't communism. Each family owns its own home, property and farmland.
Hutterites, however, are a completely different story. Hutterites live in what can best be described as communes. They have large homes with several families per home. Each family has a separate bedroom but they share a common living area. The main meal of the day is in a communal dining hall where all members of the colony eat (about 50 to 150 people).
Hutterites are usually farmers but unlike the Amish, Hutterites do not shun modern technology. They use electricity and the latest John Deere farm equipment. The farms are large, up to about 10,000 acres and very productive. In South Dakota, Hutterite colonies produce about forty percent of that state's pork. This productivity often gets them in trouble with non-Hutterite competitors who resent it when find themselves failing in bad times as the Hutterites thrive. Hutterite buildings have been the victims of arson attacks.
Hutterites work for a salary of about six dollars a month. Everything else is provided by the colony and individuals have few personal possessions other than clothing. At the Oak Lane Colony in South Dakota, Robert Wipf is the assistant swine manager. Summing his lifestyle, he says, "I get paid nothing, but I get everything I need."
Like the Amish, they are intensely egalitarian and have strict rules about dress, grooming and behavior. Suspenders, no belt. Beards required, but no moustache allowed. They are very sensitive about personal property:
From Laura Wilson, "Hutterites of Montana":
"Children learn early the principles of communal life. 'Our main purpose is to keep everyone together, ' said Lydia Waldner of Fairhaven Colony. 'Everyone has to get along with each other--not thinking one should have more than the other. That's the biggest thing for our children.' Ownership, in the Hutterite view, divides people into the haves and the have-nots; that division creates resentment and envy. I remember four orphaned coyote pups that were found by Lydia's son Luke. He kept one himself and gave the other three to friends. The coyotes were obviously fun for the colony children, a chance to have pets and learn about wild animals.But Lydia Waldner worried. 'Some children have one, and some don't. The pups are creating conflicts. Children are competing to play with them. We should let them go.' She saw the coyotes as a disruptive element. I remembered that the Hutterite dogs I had seen at other colonies were not children's pets but work dogs used to herd sheep and cattle."
The Anabaptist fear of individuality means that getting a picture of them is like pulling teeth. Somehow Laura Wilson, above, was able to charm the minister into allowing some photos, but if you should take a snapshot of an Amish man and it appears in the local paper, chances are you have gotten him into serious trouble. He will have to convince his bishop that he didn't see the camera or there was no time to turn his head. It's like the whole community is in the witness protection program.
Photos tend to make celebrities, celebrities can be prideful and think they are more important than others. Think Sean Penn. Or think of a picture of Saddam everywhere you turn. Be careful, Laura, you don't want to become another Leni Riefenstahl.
When a Hutterite colony grows to a population of about 150 it outgrows the land and the colony splits. Half of them leave and establish a new colony, electing a new minister. I'm going to leave the obvious and disturbing comparison to a beehive up to you. The only limitation to the growth of the Anabaptists is the availability of farmland. Some Hutterites and Anabaptists are getting involved in manufacturing to help keep their families together.
From Hutterites of Montana:
The Hutterites trace their beginnings to a moment in the spring of 1528 when a small band of religious refugees from the Tyrol passing through Moravia, now part of Czechoslovakia, spread a cloak on the ground and placed all they owned upon it. By doing this they affirmed their decision to follow the example of the Apostles as explained in the Bible: "And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need" (Acts of the Apostles 2:44-45). Communalism is the distinguishing principle by which all Hutterites have lived for nearly 475 years.
All this all sounds like a Marxist's wet dream. So then what's the difference between a Hutterite Colony and, say, the Soviet Union? Well, for one thing, a few hundred million people. Some Hutterite colonies have had bad ministers who caused the colony to fail. But since colonies are limited in size, the damage is minimal. The remaining colonies learn from the experience. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was like this great big colony that had Charles Manson for a minister.
But are Hutterites communists? Well, not really. After all, they are capitalists who do well at competing with other capitalists. Their communities may sound like hippie communes but most of them are related to each other so it's more a large extended family than a commune. Then why did I post this? Why should we heathens care about these quaint little Pilgrims?
Because the Amish and Hutterites could save western civilization from extinction.
Here's what I'm talking about. California is fast becoming a Central American country. At least one political movement is threatening to turn the southwest into a big Hispanic state and exclude all whites. But bring up illegal immigration and there's always some pinhead who says something like, "But who's going to pick the crops. You'll pay five bucks for a head of lettuce?".
Pat Buchanan warns in his book, "The Death of the West", how immigration and a dying population threaten to lower America and Europe to third world status. Pat's remedy for this is lower taxes for parents. Like peeing on a forest fire. I've got a more radical solution.
The Amish make lots of babies and the only reason we aren't up to our eyeballs in Amish is that they've run out of land. When that happens the kids leave the community, replenishing our population.
About a third of this country is land that belongs to the Federal Government and a lot of it is land that could be cleared for farming. The biggest gripe that Amish and Hutterites have is high taxes and the high cost of land. So we pass a law allowing the sale of this land as farm land under covenant agreement such so that no motorized vehicles can be used. That should keep the Greenies happy and the Amish will buy up that land in an instant. Change tax laws so that no property taxes will be levied on any farm land. While we're at it, get rid of crop price supports and subsidies so that corporations aren't paid for not farming so they'll sell their land to the Hutterites.
In a few generations we'll have all the baby-makers and lettuce pickers we'll ever need.
Why is this better than winking at illegals and allowing unchecked immigration? Anabaptists are pacifists. They won't pick up a gun to save their life, they won't vote or go near a lawyer unless their very existence is threatened and they won't knock on your door in the morning when you've got a hangover to ask if you know Jesus. Our courts are not clogged with Angry Amish street gang members and no one has ever heard of an Amish serial killer. If an Amish man ever gets in trouble with the law it makes national news as a man-bites-dog story. They are pretty much mind-your-own-business types. All they do is grow crops, raise farm animals and have babies. That's all they do, they make living things.
And then after they outgrow their land again, we will benefit as their kids move into the general population.
But does that mean America will be in danger of being overpopulated? No, not at all. The reason we aren't having as many children as we used to is simply because of an excess of culture, TV, movies, sports, books, video games -- we've got better things to do than change diapers. People who suppress culture, like the Anabaptists or Muslims tend to spawn a lot of kids because -- well, that's all they have for entertainment. American culture will still be here and we'll need it too because we need creative, unfettered people to make all those clever bombs and things to keep the rest of the world at bay.
Now there's a hell of a job title. I'm sure the DNC has an opening for assistant swine manager!
It's like when the PLO in 1974 declared the "phases" strategy to wipe out Israel.
Commies have changed their names whenever anybodies sensitivities were irritated.
Dialectic and marginalizing morality are settled for now, knowing that piece by piece the world will fall to them.
This of course raises the logical question as to whether a Christian nation would be better off than a atheist one, and the answer from American history is absolutely yes. We don't, of course, count the old south as Christian. They felt they were, but the dependence of 5 million of 4 million slaves doesn't set a particularly good Christian example.
This is hard to peg. The IRS has trouble accurately accounting for barter arrangements when both parties to the barter don't report it. For instance, I know one Amish family that builds and installs 40,000 kitchens. I doubt they only make 12,000 a year at it, particularly as they are alwasy busy, and as they run a furniture store and factory to help cover the overhead...