The Real Story Behind Thanksgiving
Did you know that the first [Plymouth Colony Pilgrim's] Thanksgiving was a celebration of the triumph of private property and individual initiative?
William Bradford was the governor of the original Pilgrim colony, founded at Plymouth in 1621. The colony was first organized on a communal basis, as their financiers required. Land was owned in common. The Pilgrims farmed communally, too, following the "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" precept.
The results were disastrous. Communism didn't work any better 400 years ago than it does today. By 1623, the colony had suffered serious losses. Starvation was imminent.
Bradford realized that the communal system encouraged and rewarded waste and laziness and inefficiency, and destroyed individual initiative. Desperate, he abolished it. He distributed private plots of land among the surviving Pilgrims, encouraging them to plant early and farm as individuals, not collectively.
The results: a bountiful early harvest that saved the colonies. After THAT harvest, the Pilgrims celebrated with a day of Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, William Bradford's diaries -- in which he recorded the failure of the collectivist system and the triumph of private enterprise -- were lost for many years. When Thanksgiving was later made a national holiday, the present November date was chosen. And the lesson the Pilgrims so painfully learned was, alas, not made a part of the holiday.
Happily, Bradford's diaries were later rediscovered. They're available today in paperback. They tell the real story of Thanksgiving -- how private property and individual initiative saved the Pilgrims.
This Thanksgiving season, one of the many things I'm thankful for is our free market system (imperfectly realized as it is). And I'm also grateful that there are increasing numbers of Americans who are learning the importance of free markets, and who are working to replace government coercion with marketplace cooperation here in America and around the world.
PS: A special thanks to long-time Advocate volunteer Cris Everett, who told us about this neglected bit of history several years ago.
-- copied from http://FreedomKeys.com/thanksgiving2.htm which was excerpted from the Nov. 20, 1997 issue of THE LIBERATOR ONLINE at http://www.theadvocates.org/liberator/vol-02-num-21.htm
"Back in the early 80s, we took the kids up to Plymouth to see my wife’s sister who lived there at the time. Visited Plymouth Plantation. During the tour, I was struck by the presence of fortified guard shacks in the town square and asked the guide if they were a last line of defense for the citizens there if trouble with the natives spilled into the compound. He told us that they were for the control of the FOOD RIOTS which broke out those first few winters — BEFORE they abandoned their experiment with Marxism before Karl was even born.... Seems each generation or so we must relearn the hard lessons of history." -- Dick Bachert
more detailed accounts see:
Finally, to see how it feels to be
caught in a coerced-sharing society check out THIS page: http://tinyurl.com/20thCenturyMotors
Individualism vs. Collectivism: definitions and how they compare at http://freedomkeys.com/individualism.htm
"Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist." -- President John Adams, direct descendent of Pilgrims John and Priscilla Alden
"The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management." -- Thomas Jefferson
"Private property is the most important guarantee of freedom." -- F.A. Hayek
"No freedom is secure if your property rights are not secure." -- Neal Boortz
"Property is the foundation of all civilized society." -- Thomas Jefferson
"It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree."-- Ayn Rand
"If you can't own (and use) property, you are property." - Wayne Hage
Check out: HOW CAPITALISM SAVED AMERICA: The Untold History of Our Country, from the Pilgrims to the Present by Thomas DiLorenzo (paperback) $9.95
Also see Government Health Care Takeover protest
-- and Please PASS IT ALONG------------>
-- you can make a cleaner copy by going to this page and copying it or sending it as-is: http://FreedomKeys.com/thanksgiving2.htm