Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Maori communism ...


“In relation to the diffusion of communistic theories in our own day, [studying the communism of the early Maori settlements is] of great interest. Its long continuance amongst the Maories shows that communism may prolong its existence under favouring conditions. These conditions existed amongst the Maories in the form of a limited tribal population, and an unlimited supply of land held in common, and in the despotic power of the Chiefs and Priests. 
    "They do not exist in any form of civilisation with which we are acquainted. They are to be found in savage life alone. 
    “The Lycurgan communism [i.e, the communism practised by the Spartans under Lycurgus] was only possible in a barbarous age, in a society where individualism did not exist... 
    "When Greece yielded to the spiritual impulses of art, learning and freedom in the sixth century BC, Sparta rapidly fell into the rear. Her institutions and her power decayed under the influence of Lycurgan communism.    "The philosophic dreams of Communism in Plato's 'Republic,' and in Sir Thomas More's 'Utopia' are still dreams. Wherever attempts have been made to bring them into realities, failures without exception have resulted.”          
~ Josiah Clifton Firth, from his 1890 book on early New Zealand, Nation Making.

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