Ritorno alle Riduzioni
| RIVISTA INTERNAZIONALE DI SCIENZE SOCIALI - 2006 - 1-2
In one of his earlier articles, Giancarlo Mazzocchi argued that the Paraguay Reductions could
not be considered communist since they showed an evolution towards more independent work on
plots entrusted to individual families. But he did not give any evidence of this surmised evolution.
Indeed, the historian Eberhard Gothein offered a compelling reason why this could not happen.
Work on public and private plots had to be monitored, and it was almost impossible to monitor
work performed on private plots. The Reductions can be seen as arising from an implicit contract
whereby the Guarany tribes yielded sovereignty to the Jesuit leaders, in exchange for (i) safety from
the Spanish colonists and (ii) subsistence. Thus subsistence for the Guaranis become a basic, public
task of the Reductions. Thus considered, the «Guarany republics» do qualify as communistic. That
education was also carried out publicly, thus engendering an «ethical state», is another concurrent