Early Christian Communism

For centuries the alleged ideal of communism had come to the world as a messianic and millennial creed. Various seers, notably Joachim of Fiore, had prophesied the final state of mankind as one of perfect harmony and equality, one where all things are owned in common, where there is no necessity for work or need for the division of labor.

In the case of Joachim, of course, problems of production and property, indeed of scarcity in general, were “solved” by man no longer possessing a physical body. As pure spirits, men as equal and harmonious psychic entities spending all their time chanting praise to God, might make a certain amount of sense. But the communist idea applied to a physical mankind still needing to produce and consume is a very different matter. In any case, the communist ideal continued to be put forward as a religious, millennial doctrine. We have seen in volume I its enormous influence on the Anabaptist wing of the Reformation in the 16th century. Millennial and communist dreams also inspired various fringe Protestant sects during the English Civil War of the mid-17th century, particularly the Diggers, the Ranters, and the Fifth Monarchy Men.

The most important forerunner of Marxian communism among these Civil War Protestant sectarians was Gerrard Winstanley (1609–60), the founder of the Digger movement and a man much admired by Marxist historians.

By the end of 1648, Winstanley had expanded his chiliastic doctrine to embrace egalitarian world communism, in which all goods are owned in common. His theological groundwork was the heretical, pantheistic view that God is within every man and woman, and is not a personal deity external to man. This pantheistic God has decreed “cooperation,” which for Winstanley meant compulsory communism …

By the time of his magnum opus in 1652, Winstanley was vainly appealing to the dictator, Oliver Cromwell, to impose his cherished system from above. The idea of mass direct action to establish his system was rapidly abandoned in the face of reality.

Another more mystical communist sect during the English Civil War was the half-crazed Ranters. The Ranters were classic antinomians, that is, they believed that all human beings were automatically saved by the existence of Jesus, and that therefore all men are free to disobey all laws and to flout all moral rules.

The Ranters, then, combined their belief in communism with total sexual licence, including the practice of communism of women, and communal homosexual and heterosexual orgies.


via Early Christian Communism.

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About Gunny G

GnySgt USMC (Ret.) 1952--'72 PC: History, Poly-Tiks, Military, Stories, Controversial, Unusual, Humorous, etc.... "Simplify...y'know!"
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One Response to Early Christian Communism

  1. Gunny G says:

    …and then the coming of lincoln and his war from within on Americans, after the refugees from the European unpleasantness of 1848 arrived, many of these became legislators in both america and canada, and high ranking union army officers, etc.

    Marx himself became a writer for the nyt in 1851 w/the help of horace greeley, and he continued at it for 10 years there.

    that was the commie toe in the American doorway, and they have continued in earnest till now and the immediate future.

    My opinion,,,

    Semper Watching!

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