By Tom Rhodes, 11/23/2015
I doubt anybody will notice but this as a repeat of my 2010 Thanksgiving article
As you know the original colony to Plymouth celebrated thanksgiving with the Indians in November of 1623. The Pilgrims arrived in December of 1621, and began their colony as a commune, and organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share the work and produce equally. This experiment again proved what the ancient Greeks observed eons before. As Aristotle wrote, "That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it."
The Pilgrims faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole, despite their Puritan convictions. The result was as winter of 1622 set in, they did not have enough food and provisions set for the winter and famine and privation ran rampant by the spring of 1623 only 5 women had survived. Gov. William Bradford wrote in his diary, "So as it well appeared that famine must still ensue the next year also, if not some way prevented.
The problem is that when people can get the same return with less effort, most people make less effort. This was an early harsh and historically repeated lesson that socialism and communism result in less production even to the point of starvation. Thus again proving that the rules set to us by God are best to live by. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
Later of the colonists, Bradford said, they "began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length after much debate of things, (I with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land. . . This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. 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."
Because of the change, the first Thanksgiving could be held in November 1623. Because of the abundance the Pilgrims not only were able to feed themselves, but to take care of those among them who try as they might failed to do so. It was private charity that took care of those less fortunate.
Thanksgiving is clear proof and evidence of the triumph of private property, connecting effort to reward, demonstrating that when everything is “shared equally” it incentivizes each person to contribute as little as possible to get their “equal” share. Whereas with every pilgrim given private property produced abundance which they could then trade with others for things they lacked. The free mutual exchange for mutual benefit makes the entire community richer.
We should all be thankful that we do not have to learn the lessons of protecting private property in the same deadly way that the pilgrims. Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, copied by many other countries; it is a polar opposite of May Day. On Thanksgiving, we celebrate the fall of communism and are thankful for the abundance God provides through the free market.