As we get together with our family and look back at the blessings that God has given us, we are in that new Holiday Season of “Dinner table political recruitment”. That’s that wonderful time of year where the news media always seems to prep their minions for holiday political discussions. They’ll tell you what you should say. They’ll even subcontract points of view out to you, so that you can feel as though you can make your arguments seem more thoughtful. This is especially pointed at their newly indoctrinated foot soldiers, who are feverishly burning the candles at both ends to procure that $50,000 college degree in French Couture fashion design. Armed with talking points and nothing more (no supporting information or deeper understanding of what they’ll be spouting off), they are ready to burst into the foyer- wide eyed and “enlightened”, ready to spar and divide the family. Thank the lord for the bottles of red zinfandel.
We will get that speech about how evil the genocide was by the white man in the Americas. We’ll get the castigation of our founding, as though they were commissioned to plunder, destroy, and conquer. Then, they’ll complain that we’re slaughtering innocent fowl, who have feelings just as we do. That we’re killing them in favor of greedy consumption and evil capitalism, while emitting climate constricting fumes from our Big Box, Big Corp Fryers in order to celebrate a genocidal holiday of gluttony and “White Privilege.” They will talk about how oppression still reigns supreme in the land of the free. And that to cure it, we need to remove the most incredibly successful form of government that has supported complete freedom for over 200 plus years.
We have a system that allows an environment for personal success, based upon your hard work and personal responsibility. Many times that hard work doesn’t result in the outcome that you wish. That’s OK, you can try something else. But you aren’t mandated to be removed from your career as an accountant in order to be reassigned to feeding zoo animals, as that personal account from that Cuban refugee recounted. Bloated taxes for a heavy welfare state, simply because you’re livid over the fact that you have a liability to pay for your education indoctrination, won’t cure the ailments of perceived inequality.
Pie in the sky manufactured and government managed solutions won’t be a fix. Pretending that overly taxed Norwegian nanny states are the model cure for what will fix everything in America and thinking that it’s actual “democratic socialism” is what illustrates the lack of nuance and critical thinking that has been removed from just about every college campus. And when everyone is sitting down with the bounty that was provided by capitalism : from cranberry sauce (in berry form or even cans) that is moved and delivered by a capitalist trucking company to a capitalist grocery store to turkeys (sometimes purchased from a small capitalist business like a local farm or from a capitalist meat packing plant), you can tell the story of the history of Thanksgiving to debunk the entire Democratic Socialism’s mythos.
This Thanksgiving Day we think of the Pilgrims enjoying abundant food, but this was not their real reality. Few will mention the starving times the first year in 1620 when half died of starvation. Harvests were not bountiful in that year and the next two. Plymouth was beset by laziness and thievery. William Bradford, the governor of the colony, in his History of Plymouth Plantation reported that “much was stolen both by night and day” to alleviate the prevailing condition of hunger. The mythical “feast” of the first Thanksgiving did fill their bellies briefly, he reported, and they were grateful, but abundance was anything but common. Why did this happen? Because they had fallen victim to the socialistic philosophy of “share the wealth.” This dis-incentivized the productive base of society.
Then suddenly, as though night changed to day, the crop of 1623 was bounteous, and those thereafter as well, and it had nothing to do with the weather. Bradford wrote, “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.” He concluded later, “any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.”
One variable alone made the difference and ended the three-year famine. They abandoned the notion of government (or corporation) owning the means of production and distribution in favor of the individual having property and being responsible to take care of himself. Before, no one benefited by working because he received the same compensation as those who did not. After the change everyone kept the benefits of his labor. Those who chose not to work basically chose also to be poor and the government (corporation) no longer confiscated from those who produced to give to those who did not. No government food stamps here.
Ironically all this could have been avoided had Plymouth consulted history and communicated with their neighboring colony, some distance south of them, who had previously been down the same trail. Jamestown too was first a socialist society where each produced according to his ability and received according to his need, which, of course, affected supply. One cannot divide what does not exist. Our textbooks tell us that only one of twelve survived the first two years for precisely the same reason, starvation. The problem, as noted by Tom Bethel in his work The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity through the Ages, was identified by an unnamed participant as “want of providence, industrie and government, and not the barenness and defect of the Countrie.”
Captain John Smith is credited with having saved the floundering colony by his “no workie, no eatie” government program (once again, the Virginia Company was the government) and was hated for it. Addicted to the promise of getting something for nothing, even if it is always less than promised, the receiving part of the population will always oppose they’re not getting their “fair share.” Sound familiar? Captain Smith was eventually carted off to England in chains as fast as the parasitic population could do so. Once again, why? Philip A. Bruce in his Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century, p. 121 called it agricultural socialism. “The settlers did not have even a modified interest in the soil…. Everything produced by them went into the store, in which they had no proprietorship.” When settlers finally were allowed to own their own property, and keep what they produced, things changed overnight.
Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote of incoming prosperity, beginning in 1614, after ownership of land was allowed. “When our people were fed out of the common store, and labored jointly together, glad was he [who] could slip from his labor, or slumber over his tasks he cared not how, nay, the most honest among them would hardly take so much true pains in a week, as now for themselves they will do in a day, neither cared they for the increase, presuming that however the harvest prospered, the general store must maintain them, so that we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty as now three or four do provide for themselves.
The results of socialism, collectivism and its failures are historically illustrated. Human nature and the failings of sinful beings cause this to happen every time. The successes of capitalism, personal responsibility, and entrepreneurism are completely evident. And it’s the only system that can overcome and endure beyond our human corruption. Just as in the book of Nehemiah in the bible, where the rebuilding of border wall around the nation of Israel was completed in extremely quick fashion because of everyone’s individual work, showed the overall productivity of a nation through its individuals working on their own. The same can be said for a nation of productive citizens being able to work and provide for their families, and how the benefits of familial prosperity spreads its fruits indirectly to the nation overall. Happy Thanksgiving!