If you think socialists are lazy, good-for-nothings who want things just because they are breathing, rather than working for them, Bernie Sanders would agree with you.

At least, if he believes in himself.

According to the new book We Are As Gods, by Kate Daloz, which tells the tale of the rise and fall of the Myrtle Hill Farm in northeast Vermont, Sanders was told to leave the commune in 1971 because he didn’t work, instead “sitting around and talking” about politics.

Daloz lived in a geodesic dome residence with an outhouse called the Richard M. Nixon Memorial Hall that was in close proximity to the commune; her parents were close friends with the commune residents.

In summer 1971, Sanders, 30, was a member of the socialist Liberty Union Party and stayed at the commune while he was culling data on natural childbirth for the Liberty Union’s publication, Movement. He despised traditional childrearing, where “infants were bottle fed on assembly line schedules designed by assembly line doctors in order to prepare them for assembly line society.” He conversed with a woman who gave birth to a child, uncertain of which man in the commune was the father; the woman followed the birth of her child by by eating the afterbirth.

Daloz writes that Sanders engaged in “endless political discussion,” while the residents seethed; one resident, Craig, “resented feeling like he had to pull others out of Bernie’s orbit if any work was going to get accomplished that day.” Daloz concludes, “When Bernie had stayed for Myrtle’s allotted three days, Craig politely requested that he move on.”

“When Bernie had stayed for Myrtle’s allotted three days, Craig politely requested that he move on.”

Kate Daloz

The commune’s politics must have agreed with Sanders, who made several “goodwill” trips to the USSR, Cuba and Nicaragua. He called the rise to power of the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government in Nicaragua a “heroic revolution.” Daloz writes that one commune resident led the children on marches, chanting “Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh! Vietcong is going to win!”