I originally posted this two years ago and thought it was worth revisiting....
Happy Thanksgiving to all TRR readers. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving your two-cents-worth from time to time. As I do each year on T-giving, I offer my belief about the possible origin of Thanksgiving framed by the issue with which we wrestle today....
Rush talked about this on his show today and I've heard it many times before in various media but, the link between the Pilgrims and the current question of socialism that we face in this election is interesting. As I've pointed out many times before, the crap with which the government indoctrination centers(public schools) fill your kid's head about history, government, and society is mostly politically correct garbage. Thanksgiving is a perfect example. If you asked 100 public high-school graduates what the Pilgrims were thankful for, 99 of them, assuming they could find Canada on a map of North America, would tell you the Pilgrims were thankful to the Indians for saving their wretched, miserable lives. Here's how the basic tale goes, at least in most public schools:
The interloping, white Pilgrims rudely invaded the peaceful serenity of Earth-loving, native-Americans(the original environmentalists), bringing with them disease, pestilence, and tooth decay. Not to mention wastefulness of Earth's precious resources, the assumption of white superiority over dark-skinned people, and syphilis(and that's just what your first grader learns). The Pilgrims didn't know how to hunt, fish, or garden so half of them died during the first winter(and rightly so because they were such bad people to the quaint Indians). During the following Spring and Summer, the kind, benevolent Indians taught the stupid, lazy white Pilgrims to provide for themselves. After the bountiful harvest at the end of the summer, the Pilgrims invited the Indians over for a feast to thank them for saving their decrepit, worthless, miserable lives...after which the Indians were either killed or rounded up and put on reservations and made to become alcoholics and failures because the white man didn't want any more trouble from them. And that's the story of Thanksgiving that your first grader no doubt can recount to you almost verbatim.
Well, it didn't exactly happen like that. William Bradford, the first governor of Plymouth, wrote about the first colony, its troubles, and about its first Thanksgiving. You can read an excellent account here, or in many other places on the web.
What teachers always leave out of the story of the Pilgrims, is that they attempted collectivism, i.e. socialism for the first time in America, right there in Plymouth. Bradford assigned every family that remained after the first deadly winter, a plot of land. Every family had to take whatever they grew and put in a collective common area from which every family could take what it needed. What Bradford very quickly learned was that in the absence of self-interest, the Pilgrims were a bunch of shiftless degenerates who sat around waiting to get some of what everybody else produced, to the point that barely anything got produced at all. Collectivism/socialism had failed utterly and completely, because where's the incentive to work hard, and be efficient and productive if the fruits of your labor will be taken away and given to others who haven't worked as hard, if at all?
So Bradford re-issued plots of land to each family and whatever they grew on that plot of land was theirs to keep or sell. Soon, with the incentive of self-interest, the Pilgrims were producing more food than they could possibly eat. So they set up trading posts to facilitate the mutually beneficial, free exchange of goods between each other and with the Indians. From their profits, they were able to pay off their debts to the King back in England. (The news of great wealth being generated in the New World encouraged other entrepreneurial minded folks to make the voyage as well.) Their ingenuity, efficiency, and productivity produced so much food that they hosted a feast, and invited the Indians to join them, to thank God, not the Indians for their lives and their bounty.
See, that's not the politically correct tale of Thanksgiving collectivism that unionized school marms like to teach. Like William Bradford, Obama wants to create here in America, a collectivist utopia where many people share in the bounty produced by the few. But unlike Bradford, Obama does not have the wisdom to see that it is doomed to failure....and there's a lot more at stake this time around.
When you give thanks today, say a quiet prayer for America's determination to resist the collectivists drive to socialize our country. Say it quietly because you don't want to antagonize too much on Thanksgiving, the one or two smug liberals we all tolerate in our families.
NOTE: ignore the comments thread. A spammer got into it last year and I didn't feel like deleting one by one, all 130 of them. Feel free to leave one of your own though.