It should be astonishing how often the Left seeks to downplay (if not worse) key elements of American culture — or at least, traditional American culture. Should be, but really isn’t — it’s not as though it isn’t a typical element of their psyche. Certainly since P.C. became part of Left-wing Law and Dogma, it’s been a given: It’s not Christmas, it’s “the holiday”. For Thanksgiving … well, let’s just say my reaction to hearing someone call it “Turkey Day” one more time will not be pretty. Thank heaven that one hasn’t seemed to have caught on as much as “the holiday”— but I digress…
Anyway, those of us who listen to Rush Limbaugh faithfully have at least once heard his classic reading of the lost story of Thanksgiving — the part you probably did not read or hear about during American History class. If you missed it this year, you can read it in his second book, See I Told You So. Basically, it refers to the part of Governor Bradford’s journals that no Far Leftist wants to admit even exists — the part that talks about the real reason for the famous drought that resulted in the Pilgrims’ having to depend on the American Indians for so long.
To wit: originally, the plan was that the Plymouth colony would pool the resources gleaned from the land — everyone would work together to farm, and all crops would be pooled together and distributed per family. Sound familiar? Amusingly enough, Bradford referred to this utopian attempt as a “commune”.
Needless to say, for as long as they ran the colony like this, they had to depend on Squanto and company. Finally, Bradford and associates bit the bullet and admitted that their experiment with communism was largely to blame: when you provide no incentive for above-average production, you will rarely, if ever, get above-average production from anyone. “To each according to his need” equals “equal pay no matter what”— at best. When “need” replaces “production” as the determining factor in worker’s compensation, you can bet every dollar you’ve got that the workers en masse will “produce” less, and “need” more.
And so, Bradford and boys re-organized the colony, basing it upon the concept of private property. Each family was assigned its own piece of land — and that land was theirs, to cultivate and develop … and whatever crops and livestock they grew was theirs, to eat or to sell to the others.
Suddenly, as if by magic (the magic Adam Smith analogized as “an invisible hand”), production increased — and the colony flourished. Hello turkey, pumpkins, and cranberry sauce! Hello feasts with family and friends — hello to the only use of executive authority where the inherent absurdity is the point: the pardoning of the Gobbler twins (or whoever you want to call them).
NOW… again, if you don’t listen to Rush or watch John Stossel — chances are, you haven’t heard of the above account (not unless informed by someone who has). It should be obvious why it’s basically buried by the textbooks of today — it would be just too inconvenient. Frankly, it’s a wonder this account wasn’t publicized all to heck amid the “Red Scare” of the 1950s: it’s one of the best empirical refutations to Marxism ever (long before Marx’s manifesto even existed!). Lest the Far Left continue to shrug and say, “Oh, it’s not that communism doesn’t work — it’s just been co-opted by power-hungry tyrants … every single time…”— remember, Governor Bradford was no Stalin or Mao. He was a good Christian man who sought after religious freedom for those of his denomination. He oversaw a communist experiment with the best of intentions. Unlike Lenin — and unlike the Leftists of today — he realized and admitted his error in time, and embraced the power of the free market.
(Note: it’s been speculated that this may have been something else learned from the American Indians: the tribes were certainly not above good, honest trade. Though they were amused at the White Man’s idea of land as property, the idea of distinct ownership wasn’t exactly foreign to them ….)
Now — as I’ve noted before, the education of young Americans is absolutely essential to the survival of our nation — as Lincoln would say, the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation is the philosophy of government in the next. We’d do well to heed that message.