Some Comments on the Possibilities for Mormon Socialism, or Communalism, at the Present Time

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res]

1) First things first: obviously, there isn’t any real world possibility for the (re-)emergence of Mormon socialism, or communalism, at the present time.

2) That doesn’t mean there aren’t any Mormons anywhere who advocate for one or another version of socialism, or live in some kind of commune, or both; there certainly are, especially outside the United States. Still, given that (broadly speaking) Mormon culture is pretty authoritarian, and given that (again, broadly speaking) the clear majority of Mormon leaders who wield that authority–certainly the American-born ones, at least–are more or less obviously politically conservative, economically libertarian, and/or just plain tend to vote Republican, for lots of geographic, demographic, and theological reasons, the prospect of a large number of Mormons, particularly in the U.S., organizing around specifically Mormon articulations of socialist or communalist economic alternatives is pretty unlikely.

3) This is unfortunate, since as many of those close to the grass-roots where experiments with and arguments about socialism and communalism are most vigorously taking place can affirm, the Mormon history with both of those ideological constructs–which of course were never used under those names, but it’s hard to imagine just what “united orders” and calls for “stewardship” and “consecration” involved if not what those constructs imply–is filled with instructive parallels to how those ideas are developing today.

4) I won’t pretend to be neutral in this matter; I’m deeply committed to doing what little I can to get liberals and progressives and anyone else even just vaguely counter-cultural to become cognizant of the fact that employing terms like “socialism” or “communalism” in describing efforts to extend equality and strengthen community no longer automatically implies something revolutionary or anti-religious. It never did, necessarily (there were numerous radical Christians and democrats and anarchists who were taking up Marxist ideas but shelving their materialist and revolutionary conclusions while Marx himself was still alive), but things are especially different today.

5) Whether you want to attribute it to Bernie Sanders or COVID-19 or any number of other generational or technological variables, the truth is that the past decade has witnessed more and more activists, scholars, teachers, politicians, and most of all just ordinary folks like you and I, dealing with an often dysfunctional government and an increasingly unequal economic system, embracing local, collective, mutualist solutions. Call it the sharing economy, call it the new communalism, call it decentralized socialism–whatever its name, the number of community gardens, ride-sharing networks, mutual aid societies, neighborhood associations, church-based co-ops, employee-owned start-ups, and all forms of internet-enabled crowd-sourcing that we’ve seen multiply over the 2010s, both in the United States and around the world, are underline the same development: anti-capitalism has taken, at least in the eyes of many, what might be called a consecrational turn.

6) That’s a broad claim, to be sure. Still, when the Democratic Socialists of America hosted a recent conference on “Building the Religious Left,” with a huge range of panelists from diverse religious traditions, many of whom focused on state-level organizing regarding the usual (and necessary!) left approaches–immigration reform, the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, cancelling student debt, etc.–I don’t think it escaped anyone’s attention that the conversations so often ended up revolving around what local congregations and faith communities were doing, in terms of providing welfare and sanctuary and building sustainable alternatives for people locally in need. And the fact that Mormon perspectives were so often entwined with these conversations (nearly half of the participants in one “Protestant” break-out group had a Mormon or Community of Christ background), with the conversation often turning to Doctrine and Covenants 42 and the law of consecration, which just happened to be the assigned Sunday School reading for the day? That may be just a grand coincidence…or perhaps it isn’t.

7) The Mormon experience with consecration isn’t unique, of course; as I explained in my contribution to the conference, the idea of building a better world “horizontally”–by gathering together around principles of mutual support and shared resources, enabling all who come together to partake commonly and equally in a spirit of love, as opposed to attempting to shape society more broadly through top-down actions–has been a constant throughout Christian history, going all the way back to the earliest Jesus communities described in the Book of Acts. But the Mormon experience provides particular inspiration nonetheless (see my discussion with a present day commune in Wyoming here). It is unfortunate that the rich Mormon legacy of socialist experimentation, of egalitarian communities and of consecration to the local, collective good, is so little appreciated among its own descendants, at a time which challenges to the capitalist order are both intellectually and practically more amenable to decentralized communal and cooperative efforts than has been the case in more than a century.

8) Little appreciated, perhaps, but not little noticed, if only people can learn to recognize what is right before their eyes. So much of the Intermountain West was developed, irrigated, and constructed through communalist pratices; every time a Salt Lake City Mormon (or anyone else) walks into the ZCMI Center Mall, they’re moving through a space originally defined by Zion’s Co-operative Mercantile Institution–a company which the Mormon church built with the explicit purpose of enriching the saints collectively, rather than rewarding investors with profit. That purpose has been abandoned (the church sold off ZCMI in 1999), but its built legacy remains.. and that means its communalistic, even socialistic, aspirations remain embodied for all to see and learn from. For folks like me, that’s a hopeful thing.

Comments

  1. This article speaks my language. It’s extremely refreshing to hear. Thank you.

    I always found it sadly ironic that the ZCMI facade came to be used as a stylized window for the latest fashions and commercial trends. Definitely something that BY would have abhorred.

  2. I have visited two communal (humanist) organizations, one in Colombia and one in Ethiopia. Both were started by charismatic dreamers and, as far as I know, both are successful. Awra Amba in Ethiopia ignores religion. Sunday is treated like any other day. Women are treated equally. Work is work, there is no such things as men’s jobs and women’s job. Recently, I spent a couple of days in AA. It seemed like they had too many committees. Decisions seem drawn out, overly complicated. But they had an excellent system for taking care of their elderly. The community’s stance on religion, initially made them unpopular with their neighbors. But things have settled down.

    One of my grandfathers was involved in a communal farming operation with 2 of his brothers. When grandpa was called on a proselyting mission to southern California during the Great Depression, he left 5 children with my grandmother. The communal farming was important to helping his family survive. The arrangement, however, didn’t survive. The children couldn’t get along.

    I’m a Bernie fan. I don’t like the economic disparity in the world today. With a few billionaires holding the majority of the wealth. They, and large corporations, buy our politicians. American needs universal health care. We need to eliminate money-driven elections. Etc.

  3. Interesting post. As a progressive and heterodox-saint I’d be happy to see us be permanently rid of popular political misconceptions about communisms and American democracy dating back to the 1950’s and after –largely driven by Ezra Taft Benson.

    To be successful I think we (Saints, leaders, & GA) need to finish the work that Presidents Hugh B. Brown, Henry D. Moyle, and N. Eldon Tanner began. We need to correct the perception that socialism and communism are related political systems. They are not even though Saints and Americans often use the terms interchangeably. We also need to clarify amongst ourselves what exactly was/is objectionable about communism –especially Marxism.

    A core tenet of communism –including Marxism & Maoism– is that religion is a tool of oppression, so it must be forbidden and replaced by political devotion. Saints oppose communism, because it outlaws faith and freedom of conscience. The same is true of political regimes that forbid the practice of faiths not endorsed by the state.

    When we in anyway blur the lines between communism and socialism we’re reinforcing the misconceptions that have driven generations of Saints into right-wing extremism. As Presidents Henry D. Moyle & Hugh B. Brown expressed during the rise of Benson’s extremism,

    Moyle: “The people [a]re not well enough informed to discuss [communism and socialism].”

    Brown: “All the people in Scandinavia and other European countries are under Socialistic governments and certainly are not Communists. Brother Benson’s [GC] talk ties them together and makes them equally abominable. If this is true, our people in Europe who are living under a Socialist government are living out of harmony with the Church.”

    https://www.dialoguejournal.com/articles/the-red-peril-the-candy-maker-and-the-apostle-david-o-mckays-confrontation-with-communism/

    Saints will often argue that communism, socialism, and essentially any civil governance injures liberty by constraining choices and enslaving citizens to government before God. The scriptures directly preach against such beliefs. In the New Testament (Mark 12 & associated verses) Christ laid out a model of dual citizenship that enables and clarifies belonging to civil and religious society, which also specifically rebuts arguments taxes differ from tithes or that governmental authority is less valid than ecclesiastical authority. While taxes are collected under threat of prison tithes are collected under threat of damnation and Hell.

    While ZCMI is one good example of collectivism in Mormonism. The oldest single-payer system in the U.S. is probably better. Intermountain Health is the leading, low-cost, and efficient system it is given it was an ecclesiastical single-payer system for the majority of it’s life. The Church divested and provided a generous endowment in the 1970’s, because it became indefensible to only provide care to relatively affluent Saints in the Mountain West of the U.S. for a global faith. Our religious University system can barely remain defensible based on it’s ability to drive family creation for young LDS singles from across the world –albeit mostly the U.S. Still, Saints get an elite University education at costs lower than community college in most regions.

    Post United Order LDS collectivism is as far from grassroots as one can get. All unit (Ward, Stake, etc.) offerings get transferred to our religious central government, which then allocates funds based on HQ centralized planning. The economies of scale required to accomplish our religious, service, and commercial objectives are not possible under localized or grassroots models. That’s precisely why Bishop’s and church welfare resources help struggling members navigate Federal and State safety-net programs –we ultimately know needs outpace resources even for a large centrally planned faith organization such as ours with a generous & efficient Bishops storehouse.

    When we talk about civic charity and religious charity with fellow Saints it important we help them understand both are helpful, but civic charity is essential and accomplishes the most good. If we as Saints fail to enthusiastically support and demand a robust civic safety net, then we make our nations guilty of what the Prophet Ezekiel taught was the actual “Sin of Sodom” –lack of charity.

    “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

    — Ezekiel 16:49

    For American Saints in particular it’s also important to correct the misconception that the economic policies of capitalism (favoring capital over all else) is synonymous with our political systems of democracy and republic. The American republic enacted through democracy was not created to drive accumulation of production increasing wealth. Obviously is also wasn’t created to channel unproductive wealth to formal or informal aristocracy. By experience we can confirm that is the result of what American ‘capitalism’ accomplishes quite well.

    It’s not hard to argue that our late-stage ‘capitalism’ is really a return to feudalism given how little of wealth being accumulated actually gets reinvested to grow our productive capacity, which was the key difference in the economic innovation. In that sense it’s clear that monarchy & aristocracy are more compatible with American ‘capitalist’ ideals than republic and democracy. Functioning democracy and republic places equally balanced powers in the hands of the broadest possible population of citizens. Certainly our economic system would accomplish the same where economic powers is concerned. If not, then we are necessarily unhealthy.

    In the course of human history monarchy and aristocracy are the default form of government, so to the extent Saints believe republic and democracy are divinely-inspired they should see equitable rewards for production as an essential safeguard on liberty and freedom of religion. While it is perilous to map anachronistic politics to our scriptures it’s also very plain to see the struggle of the Book of Mormon is one between monarchies and democratically elected republics. It’s also plain to see that concentration of wealth is a key indicator of “pride cycle” peaks.

    I think we can most effectively persuade fellow Saints away from right-wing extremism in the U.S. by helping them to better understand misconceptions about our political and economic systems, as well as charity. Rebranding traditional American institutions like our postal service, roads, ports, and other public infrastructure, health, and safety-net programs as socialist makes it feel like a departure from our history rather than a return to our founding principles. If they crave tradition and conservation, then let’s hold them to that creed by showing them their departure.

  4. There’s a fundamental difference between people choosing to support each other in communal living and the imposition of socialism on entire nations. I even have my doubts that the two are compatible, although I’m open to the possibility of being wrong on that one.

  5. Bro. B. says:

    As I read this I’m thinking that this type of Mormon Communism would be quite appealing to many of my family member millennials, even those not enamored with the religion itself, but also not enamored with capitalism.

  6. Your link to the Wyoming commune experience did not work, and I wanted to read it.

  7. Geoff - Aus says:

    dsc, Those who live in socialist countries do not feel imposed upon, they feel liberated. I am talking about countries like Canada, Australia, western europe. We are proud of our healthcare, and welfare systems.
    We can not understand why you anyone with half a brain would prefer the US health system. Most bankruptcies caused by medical bills, system costs more per person than our universal system, our life expectancy is 5 years longer than yours indicating better healthcare. And we can choose any doctor we want. Abortion rate is lower because birth control is affordable.
    Where is the down side?
    Is there more force involved in requiring private insurance to get healthcare, or in everyone just having access to it.
    Do you feel forced to drive on a freeway and freeer when you can drive on a toll road, Or the other way round? Do you see the comparison?
    Your road system is supplied by government
    Your military is supplied by government
    Your police (not sure about local) but certainly federal and state. We do not have smaller than state police.
    Education?
    Why draw the line at healthcare, and providing for the poor and needy?

  8. Thanks for the comments, everyone. My apologies for messing up the links. They’re all working now, if anyone wants to go back and click through to anything. A few brief comments and responses:

    Wesley: Definitely something that BY would have abhorred.

    I used to think so too, but my reading of history and my thinking about it have led me to conclude that, unfortunately, Brigham Young’s defense of simplicity and opposition to “commercial trends” was really wholly about defending the livelihood the Saints could collectively build for themselves in Utah; I don’t think he saw the virtue of simple living solely on its own terms. What would have absolutely hated about the City Creek Mall is that almost none of the stuff being sold there is actually made by the Saints themselves!

    Roger: The arrangement, however, didn’t survive. The children couldn’t get along.

    Family united orders are hard; the one my family constructed only lasted a couple of years, at most. It was a noble failure but a failure all the same. But part of the whole communalist lesson is that there isn’t one model upon which a Zion society might be built; everyone just needs to keep trying their best in their own diverse ways.

    Bookish: a lot of great ideas packed into that long comment; thank you! I’ll just focus on this one: When we talk about civic charity and religious charity with fellow Saints it important we help them understand both are helpful, but civic charity is essential and accomplishes the most good.

    An excellent point, and one that sometimes gets lost in the discussion about local socialism and decentralization and communal experimentation and all the rest–it simply can’t be all one way (“religious charity”) or all another way (“civic charity”); both are necessary. In another piece I wrote on this issue which I linked to above, I had nothing but praise for people who push hard to find cooperative solutions to social and economic problems; those people are doing the right thing, far more than those who send a check off in the mail and then forget about their neighbor! And yet, if you didn’t have those checks being sent off in the mail–if we didn’t have taxation, redistribution, collective bargaining, jobs programs, unemployment insurance, hopefully someday Medicare for All, and all the other forms of “civic charity” out there–then all the cooperative work and donations of diapers and second-hard cars and casseroles and Saturday afternoons spent moving people and fixing their roofs just plain won’t, in the end, add up to be nearly enough. We’re all part of multiple collectivities, and if it is the fault of most statist socialist solutions to ignore the necessity of the local religious community, then by the same token we can’t fall into the lie of believing that, gosh, if only we got rid of Social Security then local congregations would be able to socialize enough of their collective wealth to supply everyone’s needs.

    DSC: I even have my doubts that the two are compatible, although I’m open to the possibility of being wrong on that one.

    The United Kingdom, over the 20th century, constructed the National Health Service (completely socializing the provision and payment for basic care for every single British system) and simultaneously was the home country of the Bruderhof movement, a now international collection of Christians who live and work and share resources together in communities all around the world. So yes, they can co-exist.

    Brother B.: even those not enamored with the religion itself, but also not enamored with capitalism.

    There was some interesting discussion about this very thing during the “Building a Religious Left” conference, with some Catholic participants talking about the increasing interest in Catholic Worker farms and homes, with that interest mostly coming from Millennial and Gen Z cradle Catholics who actually have little or no interest in the faith, but whom love the social vision it promises.

    CWB: Sorry about that! It’s fixed now.

  9. Geoff-Aus: good points, all; thank you.

  10. Geoff – Aus: Having experienced half a dozen healthcare systems (including Australia) I completely agree. The concept that social medicine is somehow evil (according to many members of the church in AZ) astounds me. I recall a conversation with Harry Reid back in 2006 (I was a card-carrying Republican at the time) when he invited me to simply compare contemporary political party priorities to Christ’s teachings. It led to an interesting exercise and eventual exit from the party.

  11. Bookish says:

    Thanks for the reply Russell. I had looked at some of the cross post links too.

    Sorry for the long post. Haha!

  12. Geoff - Aus says:

    The reason I vote Labor (the party of the left) is that they tend to be concerned for the welfare of the individual, and particularly those in need, and in providing help for them to better themselves.
    This is what I hear the Saviour requiring of us. I do not once hear Christ saying the wealthy, and big business need our help, we need more billionaires.

    Labor have not been in power in Aus for 8 years but many of the things they put in place still apply.
    Yesterday the “fair work commission” although it has been stacked with right wing ex politicians, still increased the minimum wage to $20.33 an hour or for a 40 hour week $773.

    I am pleased to see there are some members who can relate their politics to christs teachings.

  13. If you’re counting Canada, Australia, and the UK as socialist countries, you’ve got an awfully expansive view of socialism. All three of those countries have economies deeply rooted in capitalism. The fact that these countries have socialized healthcare systems do not make them “socialist countries” any more than the US states are socialist because they have socialized education systems.

  14. DSC – exactly my point, and yet most republicans (and U.S. church members by extension) would consider socialized medicine to be a slippery slope to red communism, even while providing care and healing is central to Christianity.

  15. I don’t disagree, DSC! And by the same token, as you note, just because the United States has a market economy doesn’t mean it can’t accommodate–and historically has accommodated, in the form of a public school system, VA hospitals, Medicare and Medicaid, and much more–an enormous about of socialization when it comes to the distribution and pricing of economic goods. This is exactly the point (or at least one of the points) of my essay–while I’ve no doubt you get hit the internet and quickly find a half-dozen example of cranks in their parents’ basements praising Stalin and insisting that the only true socialism is that which is built through total revolution, the simple truth is that, overwhelmingly, the people who have embraced different types of socialist and communalist arrangements over the past decade and a half simply don’t that way. Instead they think, more often than not, along cooperative and egalitarian lines; they see the democratization of the economy (meaning the socialization of the market) as happening through all sorts of overlapping programs, both local and national, rooted in all sorts of collective instruments: unions and co-ops and college loan forgiveness and Medicare for All, etc., etc. No one who is actually taken seriously as an exponent of democratic socialist reforms today ever seriously disputes that market economies will continue; they do in Denmark and Sweden just as they do basically every other place on the planet except for North Korea (and actually, they kind of exist there too). Socialist and communalist practices and policies might have been once understood, by dyed-in-the-wool Marxists, as entirely incompatible with markets; the huge majority of kids joining the DSA just plain don’t believe that today, and it would be nice if conservatives rounding up votes by squealing about the Red Menace would acknowledge that.

  16. Russell,

    I don’t know how any of that affects my original point: people choosing to come together in cooperatives or communal living is very different from having those ideals imposed on entire nations. My point was not that socialism is evil (though I’m certainly not a fan) or that no “socialist” policies are ever appropriate on a national level. National policy cannot depend on the egalitarian motives of the populace. Whether to create a national healthcare system depends on a whole host of economic and policy considerations, none of which are the righteousness of the people. Similarly, one can simultaneously give to charitable causes helping people burdened by debt and oppose government cancellation of student debt without a hint of moral inconsistency.

    In short, I don’t think things like Christian Communalism or Latter-day Saint collectivist programs are all that instructive for public policy. The motivations, challenges, and potential unintended consequences differ drastically.

  17. Geoff - Aus says:

    In 1970 the average CEO got 21 times the average worker, and paid 70% tax
    In 1980 the average CEO got 31 times the average worker and paid 70% tax
    In 1990 ” ” ” 61 ” ” ” ” 40% tax
    In 2000 ” ” ” 386 ” ” ” ” 40% tax
    In 2021 ” ” ” 320 ” ” ” ” 21% tax

    Many multinational companies pay no tax now, though in the past they would have paid similar to the top income tax rate. If life felt better in the 70 to 90s it was because the country was more equal.

    Biden can not get enough republicans to agree to increase the top tax rate to help pay for infrastructure. America is the most unequal country in the first world, and republican voters, including 80% of members over 40 are voting to continue/ increase that. Why? Do they have facts?

    Since 1978 average worker compensation increased by 12% : CEO compensation increased by 940%

    In 1978 the top 10% (22 million people) held 28% of the wealth; by 2018 the top 10% (32million) held 76% of the wealth. (most likely the same people plus a few tech billionaires), and the bottom 50% held 1% of the wealth. They were financially insecure. That leaves 22% of the wealth for the middle class, and 40 million living in poverty.

    The figures above are all for USA

    For perspective other country ratio of CEO compensation to average employee. This is taken as a measure of how unequal a country is. Unequal is not economically efficient, and not happy either (feelings of injustice (trump extremists?)). This is what rampant capitalism allows. Exploitation by the rich, supported by republican politicans (how do they persuade anyone not a millionaire to vote for them).

    USA 320
    India is in 200s because average wages are so low.
    Canada 149
    Germany 136
    China 127
    France 104
    Australia 93
    Sweeden 89
    Norway 58

  18. DSC,

    I don’t know how any of that affects my original point: people choosing to come together in cooperatives or communal living is very different from having those ideals imposed on entire nations.

    And I don’t think anyone has disputed that original point. It is certainly correct that “choosing” to live in a cooperative arrangement (like you might develop with sharing your neighbor’s lawnmower) and “imposing” a cooperative arrangement upon an entire nation (like Stalin or Mao collectivizing agriculture in the Soviet Union or China) are indeed “very different.” However, since this is undisputed, I wonder if your actually relevant original point might be your follow-up statement “I even have my doubts that the two are compatible.” The evidence I and Geoff-Aus have presented suggests otherwise.

    Not only is the continued existence, in the midst of states pursuing policies which reflect different types or degrees of economic socialization or democratization or cooperativism (whether regarding health care, veterans’ benefits, public education, or a dozen other things), of all sorts of formal and informal communal experiments (the Bruderhof, mutualist aid societies, the Hutterites, neighborhood credit unions, the Catholic Worker movement, etc.), evidence that the two are compatible, but the simple that all of the above is happening in states which have more or less functional democratic governments is evidence that, just maybe, the language of “imposing” isn’t always the correct one. Maybe, in the same way that you and your neighbor can choose to embrace a sharing cooperative system when it comes to the lawnmower, a nation–through the process of elections and legislation–can choose to embrace a sharing cooperative system when it comes to health care, veterans’ benefits, public education, and more. How far could that go before it crosses a line and becomes necessarily “imposing”? Could it go all the way up to the Marxist “means of production” itself? I don’t know. Mondragon, a cooperative in Spain, is the seventh largest retailer and employer in the country, meaning that there are some segments of the Spanish economy where a cooperative arrangement is really the only sources of goods or jobs available. In Germany, the Mitbestimmungsgesetz or Co-Determination Act, has been the law since 1976, supported by governments both conservative and liberal, and has consistently “imposed” a rule of supervisory boards made up of workers overseeing the company, thus requiring high levels of owner-employee cooperation. In short: I’m not so sure that the differences you see between local cooperation through sharing and national cooperation through some element of economic socialization as as stark as you think they are.

  19. Roger Hansen says:

    The Bruderhof looks like an interesting example. Particularly since they stay actively involved with their neighbors not in the commune. The LDS Church certainly has the properties and commercial enterprises to jump start a Christian communal experiment. Maybe something in Africa or South America?

  20. Michael H. says:

    Great post and great comments. And I’m utterly amazed and thrilled by the non-presence of trolls.

    One of the constants that I kept seeing throughout the 2019/2020 Democratic primary cycle was the age-45 tipping point in polling, and—ultimately—AT the polls. Under-45s favored Bernie, while over-45s favored Biden. Contrary to the corporate media’s “African-Americans-love-Biden” narrative, this age-45 split was consistent among EVERY demographic except Latinos, who favored Bernie all up and down the age scale. The problem was that in South Carolina (and in southern states in general), the over-45s outvoted the under-45s on a 2-to-1 to 3-to-1 basis. As a long-time, 60-year-old lefty, waiting forever (it seemed) for younger, less propagandized voters to shift the paradigm, Super Tuesday was absolutely heartbreaking.

    I don’t want to sound so pessimistic, but I fear it’s just going to come down to the thoroughly propagandized G.I., Silent, and Baby Boom Generations to die off. Too many decades’ worth of the manufacture of consent there. In the meantime, I also fear woke corporatist Democrats will peel a sufficient number of young hearts and minds away from democratic socialism, in favor of symbolic gestures (that cost rich people nothing), so that we cross over, irretrievably, into full-on corporate feudalism.

  21. juanreta says:

    Yeah. There is a poorly explored model: Anarchism. In Southeast Mexico, there is a social experiment that combines political with religious organization. It is the EZLN. They call their communities “Caracoles”. The leaders do not receive salaries and education, health and the organization of the land is a community work.

  22. Juanreta, thanks for that comment–anarchism (and related formulations like municipalism, libertarian communism, or anarcho-socialism) hasn’t had a lot of experimentation in the North Atlantic world, but I know a lot of fascinating communalist achievements in Greece, Turkey, and different parts of Africa and South America have been explicitly anarchist, or anarchy combined with religious and/or indigenous communities. This is an area where Mormonism, and all sorts of other mostly white movements, could potentially learn a lot.

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