Skip to comments.The Pilgrims Were ... Socialists? [In the Tea Party view of the holiday......]
Posted on 11/21/2010 8:25:00 AM PST by Sub-Driver
The Pilgrims Were ... Socialists? By KATE ZERNIKE
Ah, Thanksgiving. A celebration regardless of creed; a time for all Americans to come together after a divisive election year.
But why take a holiday from argument? In these fractious times, even the meaning of Thanksgiving is subject to political debate.
Forget what you learned about the first Thanksgiving being a celebration of a bountiful harvest, or an expression of gratitude to the Indians who helped the Pilgrims through those harsh first months in an unfamiliar land. In the Tea Party view of the holiday, the first settlers were actually early socialists. They realized the error of their collectivist ways and embraced capitalism, producing a bumper year, upon which they decided that it was only right to celebrate the glory of the free market and private property.
Historians quibble with this interpretation. But the story, related by libertarians and conservatives for years, has taken on new life over the last year among Tea Party audiences, who revere early American history, and hunger for any argument against what they believe is the big-government takeover of the United States.
It has made Thanksgiving another proxy in the debate over health care and entitlement spending, and placed it alongside the New Deal and the Constitution on the platter of historical items picked apart by competing narratives.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Classic NY Times.
The “Pilgrims” were actually two groups of very different people thrown together — religious types and venturers. Myles Standish, for example, was not a pious churchgoer.
I have read that the religious among the Pilgrims WERE socialist, sort of, at first, and it damn near doomed their colony, and that it was only after they abandoned socialist-type thinking that they prospered.
As Rush states just about every year with the true story of Thanksgiving.
And I am not going to give away my corn. But they can have the rutabaga.
ahhh.. the NYSLIMES at it’s stupid best
that story didn’t come from the Tea Party you idiots .. It came from Governor Bradford’s (the first governor of the Plimouth Colony)Journals....
But.. Bradford must have been a Teabagger /sarc
The kind of "redistribution" advocated by the so-called "progressives" (whose ideas are, in fact, regressive) was tried and failed in America before!
If the American citizenry is awakened to the philosophy underlying its Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and if they will go back and review their factual history, they may perhaps begin to understand how America became the symbol of liberty, opportunity and prosperity for millions throughout the world. The following essay, is reprinted with permission.
axes and hoes to high technology;
log cabins to air-conditioned condos;
horsedrawn wagons to autos, planes, and rockets;
scarcity to abundance; &
from tyrannical government rule to individual liberty
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
Most of our history books dont tell us that, in the beginning, the pilgrims established a communal economic system. Each was to produce according to his ability and contribute his production to a common storehouse from which each was to draw according to his need.
The assurance that they would be fed from the common store, regardless of their contribution to it, had a peculiarly disabling effect on the colonists. Taking property away from some and giving it to others bred discontent and retarded employment. Human nature was the same then as now, and before long, there were more consumers than there were producers, and the pilgrims were near starvation. Governor Bradford, his advisors, and the colonists agreed that in order to increase their crops, each family would be allowed to do as it pleased with whatever it produced. In other words, a free market system was established. In Governor Bradfords own words:
This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corne was planted than other waise would have bene by any means ye Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deall of trouble, and gave farr better contente. The women now wente willingly into ye field, and tooke their little-ons with them to set corne, which before would aledg weaknes, and inabilitie; whom to have compelled would have bene though great tiranie and oppression. . . . By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed. . . . and some of ye abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any generall wante or famine hath not been amongst them since this day . . . . (Wm. Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation, original manuscript, Wright & Potter, Boston, 1901)
Those who, today, favor central government planning, common ownership and redistribution of the earnings of others are advocating a system that Americans tried and rejected over 350 years ago. Their wisdom gave birth to the great American miracle! (This message originally published in the mid-1980s by Stedman Corporations Government Affairs & Free Enterprise Education Program a former NC textile firm. For more essays in this series, visit www.ouragelessconstitution.com)
(This message originally published in the mid-1980s by Stedman Corporations Government Affairs & Free Enterprise Education Program a former NC textile firm. For more essays in this series, visit www.ouragelessconstitution.com)
You are correct sir! If the Indians had not assisted the pilgrims they would have starved.
The first time socialism was tried in North America it did not work. It still does not work!
They tried socialism but too many came to the table with their hands out. It never works anywhere it’s tried.
“Historians quibble with this interpretation,,,”
Interpretation,, the facts are not in dispute and conservatives are correct, but we still disagree.
The revisionism never stops with the left
See my post above for Bradford quotation.
Leave it to the Slimes to try to ruin a good patriotic story.
Well, yes they did try communal living until it failed. Although I think it was Jamestown instead. The skaters caused more problems than it was worth and so they went back to everyone taking care of themselves.
Never pass up a chance to denigrate anything positive like the Pilgrims giving up their collectivism (not socialism) when they found out it didn't work.
Too bad Karl Marx wasn't among them. Maybe his perspective would have changed as he sat in his redistributed hovel and starved to death waiting for the proletariat to rise up and usurp the wicked bourgeoisie.
America's Founders did understand that, and they rejected the idea of relinquishing their power to imperfect persons in positions of delegated power in their government. From their study of the history of civilization's struggles and their understanding of human nature, they knew that deficit and debt, combined with loss of freedom for the people, would be the consequence of such policy.
"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39
"Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread." --Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:122
So what? The collective system under which they operated barely afforded their survival - and it would never have sustained a growing populace the 150 or so years until the actual founding of the Union and the constitution.
Socialism will always fail because of simple math, but people will never give up on trying it because humans have a fundamental flaw in their psyche that I don’t think will ever go away.
Indeed they were socialists...at first. And like socialism everywhere throughout history, it damned near wiped the Pilgrims from the new world!! Only when they began the practices of free enterprise and individuality did they begin to prosper. But don’t expect to find THAT little tidbit anywhere in the NY Times!!