… the nearly three decades since the fall of communism that have so fundamentally changed our lives. Like a business entity that has achieved a market monopoly, once the ideological fight against communism was won, capitalism could stop delivering anything but the most superficial improvements to the lives of everyday people and concentrate instead on entrenching the power of corporate structures of control.
It was by all accounts idyllic — indeed, it’s remembered as one of the more successful utopian experiments in American history. “Here shall be joy,” proclaimed Kaweahans in their literature, “music, laughter, art, science and beauty, and all things else for which poets have sung and martyrs died, and of which in the outer world we see but the palest phantoms.” The colony provided shelter free of cost to all its residents. Same went for healthcare, which was administered by a supportive nearby doctor. All children went to school, where they called their teachers by their first names and were never physically disciplined. Kaweah had a community center, a print shop, a blacksmith shop, and several other amenities. In his book California’s Utopian Colonies, Robert V. Hine writes:
The Southern Pacific Railroad took notice of the road. They also took notice of the water and the trees, and decided that the Kaweah colony’s holdings would make a great addition to their portfolio. Kaweahans, of course, were unwilling to sell, so the railroad company used its political influence to convince the federal government to create Sequoia National Park, which displaced the colonists using eminent domain in 1890. The massive corporation then proceeded to partner with the federal government, using Kaweah’s spectacular road for its own purposes, while the colonists were forced to pack up and leave.