cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Advisor

Lessons from the first Thanksgiving

The Legacy of Thanksgiving is Free Enterprise – AIER

The less industrious members of the colony came late to their work in the fields, and were slow and easy in their labors. Knowing that they and their families were to receive an equal share of whatever the group produced, they saw little reason to be more diligent in their efforts. The harder working among the colonists became resentful that their efforts would be redistributed to the more malingering members of the colony. Soon they, too, were coming late to work and were less energetic in the fields.

Collective Work Equaled Individual Resentment

As Governor Bradford of the Plymouth Colony explained in his old English (though with the spelling modernized):

“For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could husbands brook it.”

Because of the disincentives and resentments that spread among the population, crops were sparse and the rationed equal shares from the collective harvest were not enough to ward off starvation and death. Two years of communism in practice had left alive only a fraction of the original number of the Plymouth colonists.

Private Property as Incentive to Industry

Realizing that another season like those that had just passed would mean the extinction of the entire community, the elders of the colony decided to try something radically different: the introduction of private property rights and the right of the individual families to keep the fruits of their own labor.

As Governor Bradford put it:

“And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end . . . This had a very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little-ones with them to set corn, which before would a ledge weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.”

The Plymouth Colony experienced a great bounty of food. Private ownership meant that there was now a close link between work and reward. Industry became the order of the day as the men and women in each family went to the fields on their separate private farms. When the harvest time came, not only did many families produce enough for their own needs, but also they had surpluses that they could freely exchange with their neighbors for mutual benefit and improvement.

In Governor Bradford’s words:

“By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. And the effect of their planting was well seen, for all had, one way or other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.”

Rejecting Collectivism for Individualism

Hard experience had taught the Plymouth colonists the fallacy and error in the ideas that since the time of the ancient Greeks had promised paradise through collectivism rather than individualism. 

13 Replies
Advisor

Re: Lessons from the first Thanksgiving

sobering essay on why communism fails, and why I am up at this hour, again, to put in another 12-15 hour day bringing in the last of this bountiful crop.....not for the liberal offspring of nutz or boritz .......not to make enough to pay Heels Up Harris's government salary....but for the promise that most of my efforts go to my own.

Greedy? yeah, you can call it that. But don't do it today with your mouth full, ok?

Senior Advisor

Re: A lesson from the Pilgrims that's timely today.

  The Pilgrims met no resistance to settling from native American tribes that had been recently wiped out by a smallpox epidemic, a disease new to North America.

 The lesson: keep up your foolish coronavirus denialism and somebody else will be farming your farm next spring.

Senior Contributor

Re: A lesson from the Pilgrims that's timely today.


@rickgthf wrote:

  The Pilgrims met no resistance to settling from native American tribes that had been recently wiped out by a smallpox epidemic, a disease new to North America.

 The lesson: keep up your foolish coronavirus denialism and somebody else will be farming your farm next spring.


Rick. equating covd1984 with smallpox gets you moved to the idiot column.

Senior Advisor

Re: A lesson from the Pilgrims that's timely today.

The Pilgrims were only saved by capitalism. Socialism nearly wiped them out like smallpox would have. The trouble with socialism is when everything is free there is no one willing to fill the shelves with products to be given away. That is when the people who are in charge of giving things away must turn into dictators and make slaves of the rest.

Senior Advisor

Re: A lesson from the Pilgrims that's timely today.

Or maybe, if a religious sect invites you over for dinner, think twice.

They may kill you later.

Senior Advisor

Re: You want to talk about religious idiots, take a look at ...

  You want to talk about religious idiots, take a look at the Hasidic Jews of NYC.  They may have won a Supreme Court decision about religious freedom but if you look at the list of their rabbis who have died of Covid, it's a pyrrhic victory.

  Besides, I really don't see where it's a matter of religious freedom to hold large weddings of 200 or more guests, get drunk, dance, and sing at the top of your voice.

  And don't give me the anti-Semitic treatment, my long time vet was the son of an Italian Jew who escaped Italy just before WWII. He and I worked long hours together under some difficult conditions and the question of his religious faith never came up.

Senior Contributor

Re: You want to talk about religious idiots, take a look at ...

It is the way evolution improves a species.

If they can not see the wisdom in NOT gathering in large groups right now a virus will remove them.

BTW saw a story earlier where a religious leader was telling his followers to NOT celebrate thanksgiving in large groups as funerals in his congregation were up 50% so far this year.

So the wise believers can see reality 

Senior Advisor

Re: As far as the mortality of smallpox goes, ....

As far as the mortality of smallpox goes, " While an infection of the variola minor virus would lead to death with a probability of less than one percent, the case fatality rate of the variola major virus has been estimated to be around 30 percent.4

Humans are infected with the variola virus by coming in touch with droplets of a smallpox-infected patient. A healthy person can become infected if they inhale fluid droplets from another infected individual (e.g. through coughing or sneezing).

The Oxford Textbook of Medicine notes symptoms of prostration (total exhaustion), toxaemia (usually poisoned by bacterial toxins) and hypotension (low blood pressure) but the exact biological mechanism causing such symptoms are unknown.

Death usually occurred 10 to 16 days after the onset of symptoms.

  It seems to me that coronavirus isn't all that much different than smallpox,

Senior Advisor

Re: As far as the mortality of smallpox goes, ....

The "religious freedom" decision opens the gates of hell wide in a nation where 40% are creationists and half or so are unable or unwilling to accept simple scientific facts about climate or the pandemic.

Although the oligarchy is pleased to have a dumbed down populace while they loot the joint.